Carrie Akers was that rarest of sideshow performers: the double attraction.
Standing only 34 inches high and weighing in at a substantial 309 pounds, Ms. Akers was as wide as she was tall and therefore known as
The Midget Fat Lady. That's two attractions in one, folks — more than nine pounds per inch. I defy you
to find a more economical entertainment value.
Among performers and promoters, Akers earned another nickname: “Quarrelsome Carrie”. She was
legendary for her ill-temper, and is generally to be seen frowning on her pitchcards. Shortly before she
retired from show business, Akers began to sprout whiskers. Had she continued her career, Carrie Akers would have been
a triple attraction.
This drawing was inspired by Édouard Manet's painting Woman with a Parrot (a.k.a., Young Woman in 1866), now in the collection of the
Metropolitan Museum of Art.
[detail enlargement 1] (92k)
[detail enlargement 2] (119k)