American Horror Story’s up to its fourth season now with AHS: Freakshow, and it stars disabled and misshaped people who revel in their “freakiness.” More than being scarily rad though, Freakshow’s characters prove that indeed, oddness can be a source of strength. Here are 3 of Freakshow’s many characters put on one hell of a show.
Name: Desiree Dupree
Title: The Three-Breasted Woman
Real-life condition: Desiree is an intersexed person, meaning she shares characteristics with both sexes and so can’t easily be identified.
Real-life connection: Despite being a “true hermaphrodite”, Desiree identifies with being female and doesn’t allow hecklers to bring her down. (Spoiler alert!) When it is revealed that her supposed penis is actually just an enlarged clitoris, she tells the abusive Dell Toledo “You go on and do your worst 'cause once they change me down there I'm going to be too much woman for you anyway." Desiree proves that sex doesn’t determine sexuality—its the self that decides that.
New Title: The Amazing Gender Bender
Name: Jimmy Darling
Title: The Lobster Boy
Real-life condition: Jimmy was born with severe syndactyly, which is a condition that fuses two or more fingers.
Real-life relevance: Though Jimmy sometimes longs to be normal, he ultimately inspires his fellow carnies to forge a strong bond that resists society’s brutal treatment and mockery of them. He solemnly asks the question, “Don’t we deserve to be happy?” Short answer: HELL yeah.
New Title: Wonderfreak
Names: Bette and Dot Tattler
Title: The Two Headed Woman
Real-life condition: The sisters suffer from dicephalic parapagus, a condition that has them conjoined in one body from the feet up until the upper torso.
Real-life connection: Even though they’re eternally locked in the hip, literally, Bette and Dot cannot be any more different. Bette dreams of Hollywood and glamor, and is carefully gentle and innocent, while Dot is stoic and cold, often demonstrating her dominance over her sister. Jealousy, anger, and impatience threaten to tear the two apart, but since that’s impossible, unfortunately, these only serve to strengthen their mutual solidarity. They might never accept their condition, but it doesn’t deter them from strength, and from Sarah Paulson claiming that her characters prove that indeed, two heads are better than one.
New Title: The Unbeatable Double