The ugliest woman in the world may have been Mary Ann Bevan. She also demonstrated opportunism and optimism in her endeavors. As the eighth child of working-class parents, Mary was born in Plaistow, London, on 20 December 1874.
During the early years of her marriage, she lived a commonplace life and soon married a market gardener named Thomas Bevan. After Thomas died suddenly in May 1914, Mary was left with four mouths to feed.
After her husband died, Mary noticed symptoms of acromegaly, despite being a normal-looking woman of five feet seven. She began to suffer from migraines and great physical discomfort as a result of her body’s excess production of growth hormones.
Despite her consistently deteriorating appearance, she appeared fine from the outside. In spite of the common carping, Mary was unbowed and sought ways to sustain her broken family.
She entered a contest designed to identify the ugliest woman in the world in the 1920s thanks to Mr. A. Chapman of Blackpool. She won in a bittersweet moment. A few months later, she was hired to perform at the Dreamland sideshow on Coney Island. Wherever she went, she carried the title of the ugliest woman in the world, which she carried throughout Scotland, England, the USA, and Northern Ireland.
The neurosurgeon Harvey Cushing religiously defended her during these years for her suffering and unfortunate fate. At the sideshow circus, Mary was one of the main attractions until her death in 1933. By then, she was 59 years old. She was still laughed at and derided across the globe even years after her name was first uttered. However, she also garnered sympathy because of her struggle for survival and medical condition.
During his 2006 visit to the UK, endocrinologist Wouter de Herder saw a humorous birthday card on the stands. A picture of Mary Ann Bevan was immediately recognized on the front cover for her laughable appearance.
He condemned the foul mocking saying she had been a beautiful young nurse in London who then suffered from a painful condition called acromegaly. On that day, the world got one step closer to being compassionate towards those in need, for he was one of the few across the world who acknowledged struggle over entertainment.
Mary Ann Bevan’s family remained in England while she appeared in freak exhibitions in the US. In 1920, Mary accepted Sam Gumpertz’s offer to work with P.T. At Coney Island’s Dreamland show, Mary was shunned for her appearance and forced to wear garish attire. Her looks were mocked in front of the crowd in the US as well.