Freak-show Ladies; History Fun Fact Vol. 22

Freak-show Ladies; History Fun Fact Vol. 22
February 25
18:00 2018

Freak-Show Ladies; The Illustrated Lady of the Circus:

Freak-show ladies, not a sentence most people would normally think of, when thinking of women and tattoos today. In fact in todays society, women are more often tattooed, than men are. But this was most certainly, not always the case. Indeed, if you go back to especially before the 50’s, especially heavily tattooed women, were an extremely rare sight.

This was the case to such an extent, that the women were often deemed freak-shows for their elaborate tattoo collections. Often full body tattooed women, would be part of travelling circuses, as part of their many attractions. A fact that we may find very comical today. Especially when you think about the fact, that tattoos would not be a talent of these women, it was just the way they looked.
Some of them would do other things, like riding unicycles, joggling etc. But some of these illustrated women, did nothing but stand there, posing with their tattoos.

It was a very different time than it is today. Women are no longer discriminated against in the same way, when it comes to tattoos. Tattooed women are more prevalent than ever and they look incredible! It is a good thing, that women aren’t looked down on for having tattoos anymore, to such an extent where they become cirus attractions. We can laugh at it today, but luckily we have learned from it and become a better society.

Final Comments:

Indeed these illustrated women were parts of circuses all over the world, from the States to Australia. It was in no way all heavily tattooed ladies back in the day, that became part of circuses. But it is still quite funny to think about, that in fact some of them did. It was another less tolerant and equal age, luckily we are past that.

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About Author



Mads W. K. Masters of science in Sociology (Cand. Scient. Soc.), from the University of Copenhagen, who specializes in embodiment sociology, but especially in tattoos and tattoo culture etc.

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