Posted on 24th June 2011
95 notes

Tags: freak, freak show, birth defect, sideshow,
Minnie Woolsey was born in Georgia in 1880 and a wide variety of  stories exist in regards to her physical condition. It is generally  believed that Minnie was born with Virchow-Seckel syndrome, a condition  also known as bird-headed dwarfism. The syndrome is quite rare and is  characterized by a small head, stunted growth, beak-like nose, receding  jaw as well as some mental limitations.  In addition, the syndrome also  left Minnie almost completely bald and blind.  Toothless, odd and  sporting glasses as thick as her thumb Minnie spent the majority of her  formative years in a Georgia Asylum until, as legend states, she was  rescued by a showman who thought her oddball looks we just odd enough to  cash in on.
Minnie began her sideshow career dressed in an American Indian  costume and billed as ‘Minnie-Ha-Ha’. The name was an obvious play on  North Carolina’s Minnihaha Falls and the gimmick was likely a nod to the  Aztec Children exhibits of yesteryear.  Minnie, initially reluctant and  shy, soon came to love the attention she received as a sideshow  attraction.  She was known to dance and shake excitedly and to speak in  thrilled gibberish to the delight of audiences everywhere.
In 1932, Minnie landed a role in Freaks as Koo-Koo the Bird Girl and a  film legend was born. The image of Minnie, dressed in a feathery  costume complete with tiny plumed cap and chicken-like feet, shimmying  atop a table during a wedding feast is forever synonymous with the  film.  Once you seen Minnie’s performance, you will never forget it. In  fact, there was actually another ‘Bird Girl’ in Freaks but few remember  poor Betty Green as she was completely overshadowed by Minnie. Today  Betty Greene is generally only remembered, in error, as being Koo-Koo  from Freaks.

Minnie Woolsey was born in Georgia in 1880 and a wide variety of stories exist in regards to her physical condition. It is generally believed that Minnie was born with Virchow-Seckel syndrome, a condition also known as bird-headed dwarfism. The syndrome is quite rare and is characterized by a small head, stunted growth, beak-like nose, receding jaw as well as some mental limitations.  In addition, the syndrome also left Minnie almost completely bald and blind.  Toothless, odd and sporting glasses as thick as her thumb Minnie spent the majority of her formative years in a Georgia Asylum until, as legend states, she was rescued by a showman who thought her oddball looks we just odd enough to cash in on.

Minnie began her sideshow career dressed in an American Indian costume and billed as ‘Minnie-Ha-Ha’. The name was an obvious play on North Carolina’s Minnihaha Falls and the gimmick was likely a nod to the Aztec Children exhibits of yesteryear.  Minnie, initially reluctant and shy, soon came to love the attention she received as a sideshow attraction.  She was known to dance and shake excitedly and to speak in thrilled gibberish to the delight of audiences everywhere.

In 1932, Minnie landed a role in Freaks as Koo-Koo the Bird Girl and a film legend was born. The image of Minnie, dressed in a feathery costume complete with tiny plumed cap and chicken-like feet, shimmying atop a table during a wedding feast is forever synonymous with the film.  Once you seen Minnie’s performance, you will never forget it. In fact, there was actually another ‘Bird Girl’ in Freaks but few remember poor Betty Green as she was completely overshadowed by Minnie. Today Betty Greene is generally only remembered, in error, as being Koo-Koo from Freaks.

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    If you are going to be a freak be PROUD, be shameless and find JOY in your life
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