You Were: A Bearded Lady

June 25, 2010

(Who Were You? #5)

You’ve had a BIG personality in all of your lives. In fact, it’s been far too big for most towns, including the small Canadian fishing village where you spent the first eighteen years of the life we’ll be visiting today.

It was 1850s. Life in your tiny village (so small it had no name as far as I can discern) was brutal, smelly, and unbelievably dull. As a young woman, you faced a life of drudgery that included scrubbing chamberpots, gutting fish, frying fish, and snuggling up to men who only bathed in the sea (once a year at most). You knew you were bound for bigger things. Things that didn’t include fish.

So when a traveling “freak show” passed through town, you hopped on the wagon and never looked back. There wasn’t anything freakish about you. (Aside from that one little thing you always kept out of sight.) But the show was a very small operation, and the other performers weren’t terribly freakish either. There was a man with extra large ears, a woman with six toes on each foot, and a boy with eyes that were two different colors.

What the show really needed was a bearded lady. (They were all the rage back then, but the six-toed woman didn’t think the look suited her.) Everyone chipped in with a few trimmings from goodness-knows-where and an artificial beard was assembled.

In each town the show visited, you’d take a short stroll down Main Street and return with an eager crowd behind you. Often, the townsfolk were disappointed to find that your fellow travelers weren’t as strange as you’d led them to believe. So you were forced to get the masses laughing before they had a chance to haul out the torches and pitchforks. (Canadians may not have guns, but they always have torches and pitchforks. JK, Canadians.)

The beard let you get away with telling  jokes that most women couldn’t have uttered without being shunned by polite society. Your fame grew every day, and by the time you hit Toronto, all of Canada was talking about the ribald bearded lady who could make men blush and ladies faint.

While in Toronto, you were discovered by a man who was known as Canada’s PT Barnum. He owned a theater devoted to all things strange and curious, and you became his star attraction. Soon the two of you fell madly in love and decided to be married. However, the relationship came to a tragic end when your fiance discovered your beard wasn’t real and abruptly called off the wedding.

They say your broken heart made you even funnier. It certainly made your jokes dirtier. But your heart didn’t stay broken for long. The man with extra-large ears had been secretly devoted to you for years, and decided the time had come to declare his love. The two of you took your profits and hit the road for Mexico, where bearded ladies were still considered shocking and new. By the time you died in 1900, you were considered a Mexican national treasure.


3 Responses to “You Were: A Bearded Lady”

  1. samantha Says:

    you’re probably better at this then you realize

    1. im going to Canada next week
    2. when i read this i was looking this up
    3. im learning spanish.

  2. samantha Says:

    ps if you cant see the pic it’s my history. i was looking up ringling brothers. not kidding.

  3. Awesome! I may have to take this show on the road!

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