When you’re known as "Percilla the Monkey Girl" or "Julia the Baboon Lady,” your life is anything but ordinary.
But the sideshow life could be empowering for women who were born different -- and those who demanded to be different. So says Ilise “The Lady Aye” Carter and Marc “Backwash” Hartzman, two featured speakers at the Morbid Anatomy Museum, who join us on the HuffPost Weird News Podcast.
Hartzman, the author of "American Sideshow," documents the lives of midway stars past and present. Carter, a writer, sword swallower and burlesque performer, explores the fringe side of show business through a feminist lens.
Part of the allure for these women in these show was taking control of the word "Freak," turning it from an insult into a badge of honor -- the right to be be different.
Check out photos of many of these ladies below as you listen to our guests. Many of the woman below were sideshow stars. Other starred in movies and plays that borrowed heavily from that tradition. It's an art form that is a curious reflection of American tastes and obsessions as it has evolved.
Also, check out the Morbid Anatomy Museum. It's one of our favorite spots in Brooklyn. And thanks for listening.
LOOK: Freaky Girls of the American Sideshow