Mary Ann Bevan became famous for being perhaps the ugliest woman in the world. She was a circus freak, and pictures of her are still circulating the net as obscene memes.
People do not hesitate to laugh at the appearance of an unfortunate woman who has long been dead. She sacrificed everything for her family. Exhausted by an incurable disease, having lost not only beauty but also health, she was not afraid to become a laughing stock in order to raise her children in abundance. Below is the tragic story of Mary Ann Bevan, who became an icon of opportunism and optimism.
Don’t be born beautiful but be born happy
This hackneyed truth perfectly illustrates the story of Mary’s life. Mary Ann Webster was born December 20, 1874, in London. The girl’s parents were ordinary representatives of the working class. They lived rather poorly. In addition to Mary, the family had seven more children. At first, her fate was no different from thousands of the same girls who grew up in poor English families. After school, she trained as a nurse and began working at a local hospital.
In 1903, a pretty young woman became the wife of a farmer named Thomas Bevan. Was this union happy history in silent? Perhaps yes, because the couple had four beautiful children. Unfortunately, the father of the family left this mortal world in the prime of life, only eleven years after the wedding. Mary Ann Bevan, who by that time already had serious health problems, was left alone with an army of hungry mouths.
Incurable disease changed Mary Ann Bevan’s face beyond recognition
An ordinary average woman with a fairly attractive appearance began to suffer from a rare endocrine disease. Acromegaly is expressed by the fact that the body begins to produce growth hormone in excess. All this was accompanied by the wildest strength of migraines and other physical sufferings. Everything hurt: both joints and muscles. Among other things, the beauty gradually began to turn into a real monster.
Mary was fired from the hospital despite years of hard work and other accomplishments. She could not find another job. Bevan got rejected everywhere she stepped on the doorstep. The woman was determined, she did not give up, for the sake of her children, she was ready for anything. Really for everything. Mary Ann Bevan went to… the circus. There was a competition for the ugliest woman in the world, and she applied. Mary won. Is it good or bad? Depending on which side to look at it. Now she had a job.
Mary Ann Bevan participated in the Dreamland sideshow on Coney Island. With the circus, she traveled half the world. She was in Scotland and England, America, and Ireland. Without embarrassment, she proudly bore the title of the ugliest woman in the world. But the children were fed, clothed, and educated.
Meanwhile, at the same time, Mary became a patient of the neurosurgeon Harvey Cushing, who was desperately trying to help her. He also tried all the time to protect the woman from the suffering and ridicule of others.
Symbol of courage and optimism
Mary Ann worked as one of the main attractions of the circus until she died in 1933. At the time of her death, she was only 59 years old. Even years later, her images serve as various memes that make fun of her appearance.
The name Bevan causes ridicule from many people around the world. Those who are aware of history know how much patience, work, and strength this inflexible woman spent. She did not break under the weight of a terrible disease. Bevan not only steadfastly endured all the negative consequences in the form of a change in appearance. She was able to step over pride and turn personal grief into a blessing for her children.
Not so long ago, an endocrinologist from the Netherlands named Wouter de Herder saw a kind of playful greeting card. The cover featured a photo of Mary Ann Bevan due to her “ridiculous” appearance. The doctor was struck to the core by such cynicism. “She was an attractive young London nurse. Acromegaly disfigured her appearance and took away her health. What’s funny here?” he wondered, denouncing vile ridicule. People are incredibly cruel to their own kind, rarely thinking about the pain they inflict on others…