The Tragic Story of a Mother Who Chose to Be the “Ugliest Woman” to Save Her Children
Mary Ann Bevan suffered the harsh reality of societal judgment. She was a mother who made an unimaginable sacrifice for the sake of her 4 children. Bevan’s tragic tale is a testament to the lengths a mother will go to for her babies. In this article, read about the selfless act of love that left an indelible mark on history.
Her early life and short-lived happiness
Mary Ann, born in 1874, grew up in East London with her family and 7 siblings. After completing her medical studies, she became a nurse. Later, she married Thomas Bevan, and the couple enjoyed a happy life together.
How the sickness crept in
After getting married, Bevan began experiencing abnormal growth, facial deformity, and migraines. These symptoms are indicative of acromegaly, a disorder caused by excess growth hormone. However, at the time, there was little awareness of the condition.
As a result, Bevan’s appearance changed drastically over the course of 5 years. Despite this, her husband remained supportive until his sudden death from a stroke in 1914, leaving Bevan and their 4 children behind.
Her sacrifice for her children
As the sickness progressed, Bevan’s vision started to blur, and things got harder for her as she lost her job as well. Due to her appearance, it became almost impossible for her to find proper work, and earning money became a major struggle.
When nothing worked out, she decided to join an “Ugliest Woman” contest, hoping to cash in on her deteriorating appearance. Beating 250 competitors, she ended up winning the title and reward money.
Bevan’s struggle paid off.
In 1920, she was hired by a famous showman of the time, Samuel W. Gumpertz, to be a part of his sideshow. Until she died in 1933, she appeared in circuses, including the Dreamland Circus, to keep her children fed and pay for their education. People came to stare at her and her size 11 feet and size 25 hands.
As tragic as Bevan’s story is, it’s a prime example of what a mother will do for her children. She might have earned the title of being “ugly” before, but she is remembered as one of the most loving and beautiful moms in history.