Molly Burke: Living Life Without Sight

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Youtube is a platform for a variety of creators. From beauty gurus to vloggers, there is a plethora of content on Youtube for any audience. However, there is one Youtuber that brings a whole new perspective to her viewers.

Who Is Molly Burke?

Molly Burke, 26, is a Canadian Youtuber. Burke began her Youtube journey in 2014 and since then has accumulated 2 million followers. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her mom, boyfriend, guide dog and cat. While Burke’s content includes lots of makeup, hair and fun challenges, she is unique. Burke is almost fully blind.

Burke was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa at four years old. When she turned 14, she lost the majority of her vision and experienced severe bullying during her school years in Canada.

Retinitis pigmentosa: A rare disorder that involves the breakdown and loss of cells in the retina.

After graduating high school, Burke began touring and speaking out to people about her experiences as a blind woman and bullying.

What can Molly Burke See?

When she says that she is “almost fully blind,” Burke describes blindness as a spectrum. With being blind, it is not always just black or white, it ranges from being legally blind to being fully blind. She claims that if she was in a room with 10 blind people, she would be the 2nd blindest.

In this video by Allure, Burke gives viewers an insight into what she sees day-to-day and how she goes about life as a blind woman. Essentially, Burke can see shadows and light but has no depth perception. When it comes to fashion or choosing decorations for her home, Burke always leans towards glitter. Due to her vision, she is able to see the reflection of glitter in the light. To get around, she uses her guide dog, Gallop, who knows how to get her upstairs, to the nearest chair or even to the nearest Starbucks!

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What does Molly Burke do on Youtube?

While Burke loves makeup and all things glitter, her content is centered around answering “sighties” or sighted people’s questions regarding the blind community. She gives valuable information on how blind people live and big misconceptions about their community. Burke’s big idea is that she does not want a cure for her disease, just more voices to tell stories like hers. She told NBC News, “I don’t even want to be cured now. I was told to believe it was better to be sighted, and I believe that dialogue is so destructive.” The idea that being disabled is something that people should try to solve rather than embrace is a common idea that Burke finds damaging to disabled persons’ confidence. Burke’s disability is who she is and she would not change it for the world.

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She also goes into detail about what it was like to be bullied as a disabled person. In that same interview with NBC News, Burke said “The majority of disabled people get bullied growing up.” “The kids go to the most vulnerable students. You’re clearly different. You stand out. We’re the easy targets. Of course, we get bullied.” Burke an advocate for disabled persons and those experiencing bullying, but she is also an avid fashionista, which fascinates her audience.

Some people wonder how and why she still cares about the latest fashion and what she looks like. Even though she cannot physically see the clothes and colors around her, she still enjoys things that brought her joy before she lost most of her vision. She instills it in her viewers that beauty and fashion are all about feeling your best rather than how you look on the outside.

Burke’s influence goes far past Youtube. She has modeled for American Eagle and has been invited to do interviews with lots of media outlets.

People like Burke do not get as much media attention as other content creators but bring value and activism to Youtube. Burke has been on Youtube for 6 years and still creates content for her subscribers, she calls her killer bees, about the blind community and give wholesome dog content. Check out Burke’s Youtube channel to learn more about this empowering, strong and blind fashionista.

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