Missouri woman with only one ear goes viral on TikTok for how she wears a face mask


ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (NewsNation) — A Missouri woman with one ear is going viral on TikTok for the creative ways she wears her face masks.

Twenty-year-old Rhys Yarbrough was born with a craniofacial birth defect called Goldenhar syndrome. She’s worn a prosthetic ear since she was 12.

“I’ve had a lot of reconstruction surgery to make me look the way I am today, but basically the right side of my face did not form correctly,” she said.

Yarbrough posted a video on TikTok showing how she wears her mask with one ear. The video went viral and commentators suggested she try a Pop Socket or command strip.

Yarbrough tested them out.

“I filmed it all in two minutes and drove home, and by the time I drove home it had like 30,000 views,” she said.

As of Wednesday night, the four videos on her page collectively had been viewed more than 60 million times.

“I’ve gotten hundreds of comments from people like, ‘Hey I’ve never seen anybody who looks just like me and like this is really cool, and you’ve really helped me feel normal today,’ and that means a lot to me,” she said.

Yarbrough said the Pop Socket and command strips weren’t as comfortable as her prosthetic, which is fitted. She added that wearing a mask around her ear can create tension, which is why instead, she typically wears a mask that goes around her head.

NewsNation affiliate WDAF contributed to this report.

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