Reality, Normality, Sexuality: “Authentic” Portrayals of the Freak



This chapter argues that “real-life” portrayals of the freak body attempt to recreate the freak show by allowing viewers to experience the freak body in an uncensored and unmonitored way, enabling them to experience the intimacy of freak bodies by providing access to their daily lives. The chapter looks at TLC’s lineup of body-obsessed reality shows, the documentary Murderball, and the docudrama Push Girls as examples of mediated real-life representations of the freak body. It finds that the mode of presentation is significant in the access it gives the viewer to the freak body, as well as in its contact with freak sexuality.

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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishSUNY College at Old WestburyWestburyUSA

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