Bridget O’Hair – Bearded Lady

10 Mar

As promised, I’ve been sewing like a demon this morning to complete the second of my ‘Ten-in-one’ Sideshow Starlets. Making her debut is Bridget O’Hair, bearded lady extraordinaire.

Bridget O'HairBridget was born with a full head of auburn locks, and by her third birthday she was already sporting a pretty impressive moustache. Her beard kicked in at age eighteen and scuppered her plans to become a seamstress as she kept getting it caught in her sewing machine. She tried her hand at welding after seeing the movie Flashdance, but it soon became clear that she was a fire-hazard, so her only option was to join the circus as the sideshow bearded lady where she shares digs with best-friend and partner in crime Elsie.

Elsie and BridgetBearded ladies were a firm fixture in circus sideshows of the Victorian era. Few women are able to grow an impressive enough beard to shock and amaze paying customers so their facial hair was often ‘enhanced’ or even entirely faked, although this was rare.

One of the most well-known and successful bearded ladies was Annie Jones. Born in 1860, she joined her first circus at just nine months old, and continued to exhibit her fully genuine beard until she died at the age of 42.

Annie Jones-Bearded Lady8

I used her fairly plain style of Victorian dress as my inspiration for Bridget’s simple dress which worked quite well as her face is the main focus.

Bridget O'Hair

So now Elsie and Bridget can keep one another company while I work on the next act for my sideshow. Hmmm….who shall I make next?

4 Responses to “Bridget O’Hair – Bearded Lady”

  1. Mum March 10, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    Don’t feel quite so bad about my old lady facial hair now!!
    This new collection of oddities is going to be just wonderful, if these two are anything to go by! xx

  2. scillagrace March 10, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    Great research! Interesting coincidence with International Women Day, too. Ever worked with wire inside your dolls? You could make a contortionist….just sayin’.

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