We Can't Stop: Miley Cyrus, Sarah Baartman and the Backside of History

The freak show (to borrow a phrase from Newtonian physics) can neither be created nor destroyed; it can only change form. A glimpse at Miley Cyrus' recent performance on the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards serves to confirm this. For a young woman whose cultural inheritance includes the “Achy Breaky” dance fad, 20-year… »9/26/13 8:49am9/26/13 8:49am

Beauty is an Impediment: Julia Pastrana and the Modern-Day Politics of Being Seen

While critics were debating if Lena Dunham gets too naked too often; or if Melissa McCarthy is too fat to be a movie star Julia Pastrana’s mummified remains were being collected from an Oslo medical facility and sent home to Mexico to be laid to rest. In her death, as in life, the subject of Ms. Pastrana's looks… »7/03/13 11:57am7/03/13 11:57am