After struggling, Jessie Wolinsky of San Francisco is letting go of the unimportant and helping others, too
Social media has negatively affected many young people’s body confidence, according to mental health professionals.
For years, many teens have struggled with keeping a positive outlook about their personal appearance, given that others appear flawless online.
California resident Jessie Wolinsky is learning to change her mindset in a major way — and hopes to empower others, too.
Wolinsky is a 30-year-old social media influencer who is slowly losing her eyesight, Jam Press reports.
At the age of seven, Wolinsky was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a rare eye diseases that affects the retina.
The disease involves cells in the retina that break down over time — eventually leading to total vision loss, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Learning about the diagnosis was difficult to comprehend, said Wolinsky, as Jam Press noted.
“[As a teenager], I was just kind of a happy-go-lucky kid who had all these envision[ing]s about my future,” she said in a YouTube video posted to Shera, a platform dedicated to empowering women, as Jam Press reported.
“After that,” she continued, “I really truly felt like there was no way that I would be able to have any sort of life.”
The social media influencer struggled with drugs, alcohol and suicidal thoughts as her vision declined, she said.
“It’s been a long journey to get to where I am now … to find happiness in my life,” she added.
The influencer has no peripheral vision and describes her eyesight now as “tunneling in slowly.”
Wolinsky has learned to live with the disease and is gaining confidence in different ways.
“Going blind has really flipped that on its head for me because one day, I’m not going to be able to see what I look like,” the 30-year-old said.
She asked herself why she was spending so much time stressing about her appearance online, knowing the day would come when she couldn’t see herself at all.
“It’s allowed me to be a little bit more free with my appearance,” Wolinsky said in the YouTube video.
She has never been able to drive, and reading books is now not possible at all, she also said.
“I’m constantly letting go of things that I used to be able to do,” she said.
Her adventurousness despite her disability empowers others living with disabilities, she said.
“Just walking down the street with my cane is a powerful statement,” Wolinsky said of herself.
“It confuses people, and they’re not used to seeing a blind person walking around or doing certain things like travel, so it definitely can get a lot of attention in that sense,” she added.
The San Francisco resident has over 7,000 Instagram followers and over 44,000 TikTok followers — and is using her platform to change the stigma around blindness.
Being vulnerable on the internet can help others who are also dealing with disabilities to not feel ashamed, Wolinsky feels, as Jam Press noted.
“I love that I’m able to be different and use this as a way to help other people accept things about themselves that they don’t love,” she said.
News Source: Fox News