LIFESTYLE & COMMUNITY

'The World's Ugliest Woman': Mary Ann Bevan Made A Fortune From Being Ugly To Save Her Children

Date October 18, 2019 20:08

All people around the world want to be healthy and beautiful. Almost every woman wants to preserve her beauty and youth for as long as possible. Even when life seems hectic and difficult, women try to find several minutes for self-care. The aim of beauty procedures is to stop or slow the aging process. But what if we are talking about inexplicable loss of beauty?

'The World's Ugliest Woman': Mary Ann Bevan Made A Fortune From Being Ugly To Save Her Childrengoodluz / Shutterstock.com

Mary Ann Bevan's story

Mary Ann Webster was born in 1874 in London into a large family and was quite an ordinary girl. She was pretty and people liked her. However, at the beginning of the next century, she earned the offensive title of the ugliest woman in the world. What happened to the attractive young woman?

She had been working as a nurse since her youth and like all other young girls, dreamed of her future life. Mary Ann wanted to get married, have kids, and help people.

Finally, her dreams started to come true. She married Thomas Bevan in 1903 when she was 29. The couple welcomed four children one after another, but illness came along with motherhood. The woman experienced migraines and muscle pain and doctors didn't know how to help.

However, the biggest disaster was only to come. The woman's appearance began to change. The process was slow, but Mary Ann's face started to lose femininity and become more masculine.

In 1914, Mary Ann became a widow. She desperately fought for every dollar she earned and applied for any job since she didn’t receive a lot of offers.

Her strange appearance caused mockery, insults, and constant rejections. The woman was heartbroken, as her beauty disappeared day after day. At the same time, she tried to come up with new ways to ensure a decent life for her kids.

If Mary hadn't heard about “the ugliest woman” contest, poverty would have continued to chase her family. Mary won it and received a large sum. After achieving stability, she gained popularity: her image began to appear in the press.

In 1920, she received an extraordinary proposal. Sam Gumpertz, the manager of one of the most popular monster circuses at that time, offered her a permanent job in the United States. Mary's colleagues were giants, dwarfs, and bearded women. In a short time, she became one of the most sought-after artists of the troupe. She earned decent money, and her children grew up in wealthy conditions. Her great love for them condemned Mary to a “freak” life, which ended in 1933.

Disease that took her beauty

Her condition was caused by an incurable disease for that time: acromegaly. This is a disorder caused by dysfunction in the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland, characterized by a disproportionate increase in the size of the hands and feet, as well as coarsening of facial features. Today, the condition can be surgically corrected in combination with hormones and radiotherapy. But in the early 20th century, no one could help.

At the beginning of the 2000s, 70 years after Mary’s death, her image appeared on a series of postcards produced by Hallmark Cards, satirically illustrating blind dates. Only after this, a Dutch doctor who worked with acromegaly called on the community to stop making fun of the woman.

Of course, not everyone immediately stopped perceiving her as the owner of an offensive title, but we hope that most people who have learned her life story would know of her as a loving and selfless mother. Every person deserves to be respected. Do you agree?

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