Hyderabad: In a world where the external beauty of a person is considered to be of utmost importance, this woman called Mary Ann Bevan dared to get out there and be called the ‘world’s ugliest woman’ to be able to feed her family.
Having been hit by a rare disease called Acromegaly, Mary Ann Bevan’s facial bones and muscles enlarged and became three times larger than usual.
Mary Ann’s story
Born in Newham, London, in 1874, Mary Ann Bevan had an ordinary life as a young girl. Having finished her medical studies, she became a nurse in 1894 and soon married a man named Thomas Bevan, with whom she had four children.
However, the happier times in the family were soon disrupted as Mary was hit with a rare disease called acromegaly that medics at the time didn’t know much about.
In the next years, Mary Ann suffered drastic physical changes as the rare disease affected her whole body. In a matter of five years, she was unrecognizable and looked nothing like her previous ‘pretty’ self.
But physical ailments had to take a back seat as, as Mary was left to be a sole breadwinner of the family after the death of her husband. As their financial condition worsened, Mary chose to make a sacrifice.
And in the 1920s, with a hope of winning a prize money which could help the family, Mary Ann entered a ‘homeliest woman’ contest which was also dubbed as the ‘ugly woman’ contest. Mary Ann had to sacrifice her dignity for her family and her efforts did pay off as she won the competition and hence was tagged the ‘world’s most ugliest woman’.
But the humiliation did not just stop there for Mary as she soon became a circus attraction and also worked as a ‘freak show’ performer in Coney Island’s Dreamland sideshow till her death in 1933.
On the flipside, Mary Ann was also considered to be an inspirational figure for many who suffered with acromegaly.