When I was a child we went to the Oregon State Fair. It was a dazzling array of rides, games, food and agricultural exhibits. What it no longer had, as my mother told me, was a “freak show,” more properly called a side show. She told me that people used to pay money to see people with medical conditions such as a very large woman called a “fat lady,” and a very short person called a “midget.” She and I agreed that we lived in kinder times in the 1950’s and that people would be ashamed now to pay money to stare at fellow humans.
But “reality TV” has arrived in full force to provide countless opportunities to gawk without the possibility of shame. One channel in the United States hosts a variety of such programming. My Giant Life, 1000 Lb. Sisters, My 600 Pound Life, Little People Big World, The Little Couple and Abby &Brittany(two headed conjoined twins.) There clearly continues to be a large audience ready to stare at the same giants, “midgets,” “fat ladies,” and other rare conditions as there was in earlier times.
Is it still a source of shame for the television viewer? I don’t know. I have never watched one second of any of those shows myself. LOL