The Elephant Man

Even though I’m pretty sure that you are familiar with this case, it’s worth taking a second look at the bizarre physical abnormality developed by Joseph Merrick and more important to his life. Seen an oddity good only for the entertainment of the rich, the elephant man’scause of his condition is not clear, but the theories suggest that it’s a combination of neurofibromatosis type I and Proteus syndrome. The symptoms were swollen legs, irregular skull with thick skin and enlarged lips. All these characteristics made his physical appearance elephant-like, therefore the nickname.

The movie shows a past society and a wonderful story, not so much for the medical aspects of the disease, but for the way in which people dealt with it.  I highly recommend you to watch it and if you want to say your opinion the blog forum is open for everybody. It definitely moved me, making me think of the common notion of physical normality and the repercussions that it may carry with it now in relationship to the past.

I must say that while nowadays magazines and TV shape the image the perfect body, causing depression or anorexia between teenagers and not only, at least the legislation does a better job protecting those born with a disability like that, a similar situation being beyond imaginary in the civilised world. Even though from this point of view we ‘evolved’ it’s hard to say if the world we live in it’s better or worse.

“Tis true my form is something odd

But blaming me is blaming God

Could I create myself anew

I would not fail in pleasing you.

If I could reach from pole to pole

Or grasp the ocean with a span

I would be measured by the soul

The mind’s the standard of the man.”

― Isaac Watts

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