The Freaks


- 02/02/2017 -

Famous at the beginning of the 20th century, Freak Shows were an entertainment like the circus still is today; except that among the artists were lilliputians, women with beards, trunk men, or Siamese twins. Thus Freak refers to a being considered at the time as a disgrace of nature because of his singular body or infirmity. In 1936, Tod Browning transposed this universe to the big screen with "Freaks". He took a counter-current look at these individuals, placing the human rather than the creature at the heart of the work.

Miss Delina Rossa
Bettmann Archive
AHS - Freak Show

In the United States, the term is taken up by some, being on the margins of post-war society politically and socially. The freak then becomes a social outcast rather than a person with a malformation.

Freaks - in the original sense of the term - are now an integral part of pop culture: Current productions, such as the American Horror Story - Freak Show (Season 4) imagined by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, pay tribute to Tod Browning's feature film. They restore the humanity of these individuals, making them unique as Humans, and salute their singularity. In a more universal way, they embody the fundamental right to be different and the natural respect owed to everyone.


Out of print edition