A Woman Who Won the “Ugliest Woman” Contest to Earn Money for Her Children

People
7 months ago

Mary Ann Bevan faced the harsh consequences of societal judgment. As a mother, she made an unimaginable sacrifice to provide for her four children. Bevan’s story is a powerful testament to the extraordinary lengths a mother is willing to go to for her little ones. In this article, you will discover the selfless act of love that left an unforgettable imprint on history.

In her early years, she experienced a brief period of happiness.

Mary Ann Bevan / Public Domain

Mary Ann, born in 1874, had a childhood in East London surrounded by her family and 7 siblings. Following her education in medicine, she pursued a career as a nurse. Eventually, she found love and companionship with Thomas Bevan, and they shared joyful years together.

How the sickness started

Following her marriage, Bevan started noticing unusual changes in her body, including abnormal growth, facial deformities, and recurring migraines. These signs pointed towards acromegaly, a condition caused by excess growth hormone. Unfortunately, during that time, there was limited understanding of this disorder.

Over the next five years, Bevan’s physical appearance underwent significant transformations. Despite these challenges, her husband remained by her side, providing unwavering support. However, tragedy struck when he unexpectedly died from a stroke in 1914, leaving Bevan to care for their four children alone.

She struggled to find a job.

As Bevan’s illness advanced, she faced additional challenges, including deteriorating vision and losing her job. Unfortunately, her changing appearance made securing suitable employment increasingly difficult, plunging her into financial hardship.

In a moment of desperation, Bevan made the bold decision to participate in an “Ugliest Woman” contest, seeing it as a potential opportunity to leverage her unique appearance for financial gain. Surpassing 250 other contestants, she emerged as the winner, earning both the title and a monetary prize.

She performed in circuses.

In 1920, Bevan found employment with Samuel W. Gumpertz, a renowned showman of the era. She joined his sideshow and continued to be part of various circuses, such as the Dreamland Circus, until her passing in 1933. Her main motivation was to provide for her children’s well-being and education. People would gather to observe her unique features, including her size 11 feet and size 25 hands.

Although Bevan’s story is marked by tragedy, it serves as a powerful example of a mother’s unwavering devotion to her children. Despite being labeled “ugly” in the past, she is cherished as one of the most loving and beautiful mothers in history.

Parents, particularly moms, have an immense love for their children, leading them to make any necessary sacrifices to ensure their children’s happiness and well-being as they grow up.

Preview photo credit Mary Ann Bevan / Wikimedia Commons, Mary Ann Bevan / Public Domain

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