Here, courtesy of Adam Ozimek at Modeled Behavior, is a picture of Chauncy Morlan (1869-1906) who, because of his “freakish” weight, people once paid good money to see as he toured Europe and America with the Barnum & Bailey circus. Although a tinge of freakishness still attaches to shows like The Biggest Loser the dominant theme is a feeling
of camaraderie and the hope that if the contestants can lose weight then so can anyone
with similar problem and goals.
What would the circus goers of 1890 have thought if they were told that in the America of 2010 Chauncy Morlan would be unremarkable?