The Truth About The Last Alaskans Girls' Rare Condition

For reality TV stars, life in the public eye often invites undue judgement. Yet while shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills thrive on drama, the daughters from The Last Alaskans have found themselves the targets of unwarranted hate speech because of their looks.

Upon first glance, it's clear sisters Molly, Emma, and Sarah — children of Ray and Cindy Lewis — look a bit different with regard to their eyes. Per Starcasm, some viewers cruelly speculated that their appearance comes from being inbred, but in reality, the daughters suffer from a rare genetic condition: Blepharophimosis, ptosis, and epicanthus inversus syndrome (BPES).

According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, BPES presents four distinct facial features at birth — narrow eyes, droopy eyelids, an upward fold of skin of the inner lower eyelids, and widely set eyes — which can cause difficulty when opening the eyes fully and impact an affected individual's quality of vision. NORD adds that, while BPES type I involves premature ovarian insufficiency in females along with the characteristic facial features, BPES type II manifests as these facial features alone.

While Starcasm notes the family doesn't know which BPES type they carry, they know the rare condition came from the recessive gene carried by mother Cindy. However, it's doubly rare that all three daughters acquired this mutation, as the likelihood of passing the altered gene from parent to child reportedly remains low at 50%. Even so, this condition hasn't hindered the sisters one bit.

Molly Lewis wants the haters to 'get a life'

While Molly Lewis and her sisters remain susceptible to harsh criticism, the eldest child had some choice words for the show's armchair critics.

"Thank you to all of you who have posted positive comments in our defense!" Molly wrote during an online Q&A five years ago (per Starcasm). "They're encouraging and it's nice to know there's people out there who get out of the show what's supposed to be. But to the rest of you on the other side of the discussion—come on, get a life! Honestly I feel sorry for you. Can't you enjoy the show for what it is? It's a shame that all you seem to be taking away from it is the subject of our eyes. If it had anything to do with the topic of the show it would be addressed."

She continued by noting, "Everyone has their flaws, ours are just more obvious than others." Molly added, "I'm sorry if it looks weird to some of you, but that's your problem. Most of you all have 'normal' eyes so why does it matter to you so much? Don't you have anything better to do with your lives than worry about others'?"

Choosing to take the high road, Molly concluded, "It's the way God chose to make us and we accept it. If you aren't satisfied with that response then that's your issue. I don't know what else to say." Well-put!