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It’s a fact. Nothing more to say. Apologies to the great Buddy Miles.
In the 60’s and 70’s if your parents had no imagination or extra time they could buy you a extremely flammable, dangerously hard to see out of mask with accompanying ill-fitting smock. These would come in, not only the old standbys like Frankenstein, Dracula, super heroes and clowns, but also the cultural icons of the day. To see small children in Kabe Caplin “Welcome Back Kotter” costumes or the Leather Guy from The Village People must have been something. How about creatively mind-boggling KFC’s Colonel Sanders, Robin Williams’ Mork, The Fonz, Donny Osmond, all 4 Beatles or Radar O’Reilly from Mash. The real odd-ball costumes were the “THINGS”, i.e. The shark from Jaws, Rubiks Cube, an asteroid from the video game Asteroids and Flipper, to name a very few. These went out of favor in the safety conscious 80’s when it was realized just how dangerous they actually were. Also who really wanted to wear an flammable New Kid’s on the Block, Donny Wahlberg costume anyway.
“From 1972 to 1975, I spent my summers photographing and interviewing women who performed striptease for small town carnivals in New England, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. As I followed the girl shows from town to town, I photographed the dancers’ public performances as well as their private lives. I also taped interviews with the dancers, their boyfriends, the show managers, and paying customers.
The women I met ranged in age from seventeen to thirty-five. Most had left small towns, seeking mobility, money and something different from what was prescribed or proscribed by their lives that the carnival allowed them to leave. They were runaways, girlfriends of carnies, club dancers, both transient and professional.
They worked out of a traveling box, a truck that unfolded to form two stages, one opening to the public carnival grounds, another concealed under a tent for a private audience. A dressing room stands between them. Again and again, throughout the day and night, the woman performers moved from the front stage, with its bally call—the talker’s spiel that entices the crowd—to the stage, where they each perform for the duration of a 45 pop record”.
From Susan Meislas’ book “Carnival Strippers” 1976
Ah, the fifties, where a sexy pinup was appropriate for every holiday. This was a time when depictions of nudity was still resigned to the under-the-counter porn mags, but bathing suits and lingerie were completely acceptable and all the rage. A lot of these were promotions for young actresses and even established stars – that’s a young Yvonne DeCarlo (Lily Munster) in a cat suit on a huge pumpkin.