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Millie Bobby Brown Opens Up About Being Deaf in One Ear

“It was like a bug,” Brown told Variety of her desire to act. “I know this sounds crazy, but once I find something I want to do, nobody’s stopping me. If I don’t know how to sew, and I really had that passion to sew, that’s it, I’m going to sew. That’s also with acting. So here I am.”

But things haven’t always been easy for the actress. She also revealed to Variety she has never taken an acting class in her life or trained to be a singer. But she does both—while also being completely deaf in one of her ears.

She was born with partial loss of hearing in one of her ears, but eventually after years of tubes, her hearing completely faded away on that side. When she’s performing—either acting or singing—she can’t fully hear herself. In the first season of Stranger Things, Brown made use of her other senses when playing Eleven, who didn’t talk much: “You can talk with your face,” she says matter-of-factly. “It’s very easy for someone to say, ‘I’m mad. I’m sad. I’m angry.’ I have to just do it with my face.”

Acting and singing with partial hearing loss could shake a young actress’s confidence, but Brown has never let it affect her. “I just started to sing, and if I sound bad, I don’t care, because I’m just doing what I love,” she said. “You don’t have to be good at singing. You don’t have to be good at dancing or acting. If you like to do it, if you genuinely enjoy doing it, then do it. No one should stop you.”

The girl has talent. And, she’s pretty brave to open up about health struggles like this at such a young age. It’s inspiring to anyone who has gone through the same situation or, even, a similar one. According to statistics, two or three out of every 1,000 children born in the U.S. suffer from partial hearing loss – so, it’s not all that rare. It’s inspiring to have someone in the spotlight to look up to who understands the struggle some kids do face on a day-to-day basis. And, it pushes them to keep reaching for their dreams. We love you Millie! Keep doing your thing 🙂

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