Although we may not think of them as freaks, there are still people that make profit off of other’s disabilities. However, unlike the past we do not have to go to a ‘Freak Show,’ or the circus; we can watch from the comforts of our couches.
In the past, it could be said that the performers were “exploited” by their bosses. They would have to work tireless hours, performing as many shows as the ticket sales demanded. It was also said, that working as a performer provided them with jobs and a steady income to live a semi-decent life. In today’s world though, with the likes of TLC, people can exploit their own disabilities. They choose to publicly display their lives, opening up to ridicule, to make a profit.
To me ‘Freak Shows’ in the past were such a big deal due to the fact that people had limited knowledge. All they were aware of was the fact that these people are different, and they found it amusing. No one really knew about the different types of disabilities, making it hard for those who had them to get jobs, leaving them with no other choice, but to be exploited. Yet today, even with the advanced knowledge, people still like to watch shows about people with abnormalities. I believe it’s due to the fact that shows like, “Little People, Big World,” show people living their lives despite their disability. It shows others that although you may not be classified as “normal,” you can still live how you want to, and even make a living through it. Unlike in the past, people today live way better lives. There are some who still taunt, and pick on those with disabilities for their own amusement, but there are more people that are accepting, making it easier for them to function in society.

Kirsten Barry

Resource:
“Freak Show.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freak_show.