Mary Ann Bevan: The Homeliest Woman in the World
Mary Ann Bevan (20 December 1874¨C26 December 1933) ¡ª born Mary Ann Webster ¡ª was named as "the ugliest woman in the world" in the early 20th century after developing acromegaly.
Born in Plaistow, London, England as one of eight children, Bevan worked as a nurse for much of her younger life. In 1903 she married Thomas Bevan with whom she would have four children.
Bevan started exhibiting the symptoms of acromegaly soon after she was married, around the age of 32. She began to suffer from abnormal growth and facial distortion, which led to her "homely" appearance, along with severe headaches and fading eyesight. When her husband died in 1914 she no longer had the income to support her family and had to find work herself. In 1920 she was hired by Sam Gumpertz to appear in Coney Island's Dreamland sideshow, a form offreak show, where she would spend most of the remainder of her life. She also made appearances at the World's Fair for the Ringling Brothers Circus until she died in 1933. When she died she weighed 12 stone (168 lbs or 76 kg) and measured 5 feet 7 inches (170 centimeters)¨Cnot excessive for someone with acromegaly.
In the early 2000s her image was used on a birthday card in the United Kingdom made by Hallmark Cards. The card made reference to the dating show Blind Date. A complaint was made by a Dutch doctor that it was disrespectful of a woman who had become deformed as the result of a disease. Hallmark decided that it was indeed inappropriate and agreed to stop distribution of the card.
Please LOGIN or REGISTER To Gain Full Access To This Article