In current usage, the word “freak” is commonly used to refer to a person with something “strikingly unusual” about their appearance or behaviour.
This usage dates from the so-called freak scene of the 1960s and 1970s.
An older usage refers to the physically deformed, or having extraordinary diseases and conditions, such as sideshow performers.
This has fallen into disuse, except as a pejorative, and (among the performers of such shows) as jargon.
“Freaks” of this kind can be classified into two groups: natural freaks and made freaks…
A natural freak would usually refer to a genetic abnormality, while a made freak is a once normal person who experienced or initiated an alteration at some point in life (such as receiving surgical implants).
“Freak” continues to be used to describe genetic mutations in plants and animals, i.e. “freaks of nature.”
In early science, there were many theories concerning the existence of natural abnormalities. Many of the theories led to pseudo-sciences that are still adhered to by some.
One persistent pre-19th century superstition is that, if a pregnant woman is scared by someone or something, the child would be born with the quality that caused the fear.
(The widely accepted scientific theory regarding inherent qualities is that of mutation).
In some religions since ancient times, the birth of abnormal offspring has been associated with astrological or supernatural events.
Karma is also believed in some eastern religions to be a cause of abnormalities. In other faiths, the cause is attributed to direct intervention by the will of God.
In ancient Roman religion, for instance, biological abnormalities of animals and humans were monstra (“monsters”), and regarded as evidence of divine displeasure or discord in the cosmos.
Legend of La Gargouille…
A French legend that sprang up around the name of St. Romanus (“Romain”) (AD 631–641), the former chancellor of the Merovingian king Clotaire II who was made bishop of Rouen, relates how he delivered the country around Rouen from a monster called Gargouille or Goji.
La Gargouille is said to have been the typical dragon with batlike wings, a long neck, and the ability to breathe fire from its mouth.
There are multiple versions of the story, either that St. Romanus subdued the creature with a crucifix, or he captured the creature with the help of the only volunteer, a condemned man. In each, the monster is led back to Rouen and burned, but its head and neck would not burn due to being tempered by its own fire breath. The head was then mounted on the walls of the newly built church to scare off evil spirits, and used for protection.
In commemoration of St. Romain, the Archbishops of Rouen were granted the right to set a prisoner free on the day that the reliquary of the saint was carried in procession.
The word “freak” is also used these days by people who intentionally choose to alter their physical appearance by artificial means. The motivation for the change may be bravado, a lifestyle choice (an example of this is).
The Enigma, rockstar Marilyn Manson or the band Murderdolls), a reaction to a disfiguring accident, an attempt to stay young, or a symptom of body dysmorphic disorder.
There are various types of “made freaks”, each of which may be used to create an effect which would make the person a freak.
Taken from the Tahitian word tatu or tatau, and incorporating Japanese traditional irezumi (“insertion of ink”) methods, tattooing became very popular among sailors, and then caught on with bikers and others who like to have permanent artwork on their skin.
Today “made freaks” are often associated with having excessive tatooing all over the body, (a number not only to large to count), ..a number way too large to display.
Albeit, I have gleaned a few examples that I personally find intriguing…
(In need of rehab).
(Lonely and Confused).
(Beyond the deep end).
Hollywood freaks, from the original Wolfman…
..to a Harry Potter elf, ..proof that freaks and monsters can be both frightening and intriguing.
At this point I could give you the definition of imagination and interpretation, but it’s getting late so I won’t.
(Better him than me, – much better!)
Body piercing has been around since ancient times, and has been attributed mystical significance.
These days, it is often regarded by those who use it as an enhancement of one’s natural appearance, as with most forms of body modification.
(Not in the eye of this beholder).
(Mutilation, “in my opinion” is not attractive).
Piercing of the face (especially ears and lips) has been integrated into teenage fashion. (Source. Wikipedia).
Of course, to anyone with the accumulated intellect to pour water out of a boot and the common sense not to pour it on themselves, ..reality is, ..that everyone judges everyone on this Great Big Blue planet.
Truth forges understanding, I’ll be back tomorrow