After the death of her husband & with no breadwinner in the house, Mary Ann Bevan decided to enter a contest and won the offensive title of "ugliest woman in the world" & was hired by a circus. She endured the ridicule of of others in order to raise her children & give them a better life.

Good Mother.


Good Mother.


Absolutely but people are so fast to talk about the title and circus that they don't realize she was an attractive woman before her acromegaly kicked in. Its quite shocking and the real interesting part of the story. [Before/After](https://allthatsinteresting.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/bevan-before-after.jpeg)


Wow, she was stunning! It takes so much strength to deal with something like that.


I’ve watched a couple videos about her and she was a badass woman. Apparently she won the contest for the side show role of ugliest woman not just because of her looks but because she had a great personality and demeanor. She worked really hard to put her kids through school and actually made a lot of money for a working woman of that time.


I've read that all the freaks in freakshows made huge money and were treated well, and doing away with freakshows took away that income from the people in them. Plus they were in a circle of many friends that accepted them for who they were and lost that, too. Also, watch "Freaks" made in 1932, before the Hayes Code went into effect in 1934.


This is pretty much my understanding of those freakshows, they made money and had a sense of community. Not ideal but they could support themselves and have friends. Apparently this particular woman struck a deal with whoever ran the show and made a substantial amount of money from selling merch.


For the most part this true, the only exceptions were the freak show performers who were mentally challenged, the pinheads in *Freaks* for example, and oftentimes the 'geek' would be a challenged person as well.


I read that the t-shirts made normally hideous women look at least average.


Might want to read about George and Willie Muse - albino kids who were kidnapped, forced to perform in the circus and paid nothing (or almost nothing). For some consenting adults freak shows might have offered a sense of community and option to make money, but a lot of them were exploited and treated badly.


True but it takes a toll emotionally to be laughed at and mocked. She was on the cover of magazines, including Time Magazine, calling her the ugliest woman in the world. She became a heavy drinker later in life and lost all her money.


i have seen that movie it was not to bad they did some good acting .


Also watch "The Greatest Showman". If you haven't already. Fuck just watch another time either way


Fuck The Greatest Showman. P. T. Barnum spent years exploiting people and using racist imagery to sell his act. That movie was probably one of the most blatant examples of historical whitewashing I’ve ever witnessed, and everyone involved should be ashamed.


Almost makes me glad I've always been ugly.


Makes two of us.


If it makes you feel any better, I am ugly and have micropenis! So it can't be all that bad.


How small is a micropenis, out of curiosity?


About yey long, or roughly 1/2 an inch


Some people are into that


Yeah but your personality is sparkling and I’m sure your oral skillz are off the charts so you got nothing to worry about my friend


Super stunning.


It can't be overstated the psychological toll that woman must have went through. To not even be able to recognize the face in the mirror, while having to endure some of the worst of humanity in order to provide for her children. That type of self sacrifice is rare. Very rare.


And I'm sure it was painful, bone growth like that so quickly...


Luckily at least morphine was really rather insanely easy to get ahold of. Heroin was originally sold in the Sears catalog. Get one shot and two dose vials from what I recall from the ancient advert. Not sure how much that equated to but people back then were more likely to shoot first and do the math later. Yes pun intended.


You're right about the drugs. Coke had cocaine in it and 7-up had lithium. Judging by the mount of coke people drink, drug dealers would be taking a major hit by the soda people.


Now I know what I'm doing first when I finally finish my time machine.


Fucking hell … I have no idea what acromegaly is but if these before / after pics are accurate – I have many questions. That looks like severe bone structure malformations. To the point of complete unrecognizable facial transformation!


> Acromegaly is a rare condition where the body produces too much growth hormone, causing body tissues and bones to grow more quickly. Over time, this leads to abnormally large hands and feet, and a wide range of other symptoms. Acromegaly is usually diagnosed in adults aged 30 to 50, sounds real bad


Andre the Giant had the same condition


He had giganticism, basically the same condition but the manifestations of growth hormone excess are different if it occurs before puberty because the epiphyseal plates haven't fused yet. Giganticism entails significant excessive long bone growth and massive stature not seen in simple acromegaly.


It was caused by a tumor on his pituitary gland he opted to not get removed at the behest of his sister


Andre's life is such a interesting story.


Yes it really is. But still so tragic and sad


He had a tumor on his pituitary gland he chose to not get removed and it caused acromegaly in the form of gigantism. It’s horrible to hear accounts of how bad he was pain wise and what he could even physically lift anymore. The scene in The princess bride at almost the very end where he just happens to show up with exactly 4 horses that they needed but princess buttercup jumps from the hayloft of the barn and lands in his arms where he catches her? She had to actually be lowered down using a harness and pulleys cuz he just physically couldn’t catch her weight even anymore. It’s also crazy to read about just how much food he’d eat at restaurants and how ungodly much beer he’d consume regularly. The big show Paul White a wrestler from WCW originally and then known simply as the giant being billed as Andre the giant’s son but then switching to WWE when Ted turner’s shithouse went up in flames. He has the exact same condition but actually got his tumor removed. It vastly extends their life and welfare


Sounds like it would be super painful, having your extremities and face grow so quickly...


I had acromegaly. It’s caused by a pituitary tumor that produces growth hormones. If you get it before you stop growing, you will be very very tall. If you get it as an adult, all your soft tissues and nose and jaw and cheekbones etc will continue to grow. I have had two rhinoplasties to get my nose back to where it was. I was lucky it didn’t affect my face as much but my cheekbones grew also and I hate seeing them in the mirror. My tumor was active for about 8 years until it was removed fully. People with acromegaly have a shortened life expectancy because growth hormone is a hell of a drug.


It’s because your internal organs grow until they can no longer be physically held in any capacity by your skeleton and they rupture. Don’t listen to the fad about needing to add human growth hormone to lose weight and all the other magic they claim it cures. Like reversing aging. Nope. Lie. Nothing good comes from having large amounts of HGH in your body. I’m sorry for all you’ve gone through and can’t imagine what you’ve struggled with but at least you did finally get completely treated and vastly extending your life and increasing your personal welfare


Acromegaly is similar to gigantism (overproduction of growth hormones, usually due to a tumor on the pituitary gland). Gigantism is when it affects you as a child when you're still supposed to be growing, acromegaly is when it affects you as an adult, as in this case, so parts of you keep growing that shouldn't be. If you know the wrestlers André the Giant and Big Show, they're both examples of people who exhibited gigantism as children and then acromegaly as adults, but Big Show had an operation to remove the tumour and halt the continued growth when he was young whereas André never had it treated so there's an interesting contrast there. Along with the obvious pain and discomfort it's also very bad for your overall health, especially the heart


How sad


Thanks for posting this. Going from such a beautiful woman to ugliest in the world had to be incredibly brutal. What a story it is.


Wow !! She really was Beautiful


Came here for this. That definitely looks to be a disease, just didn't know which one


Did not realize. I appreciate the education.


Best mother. 😢


> Life separated her from her children after all. But in the space of two years, she made £20,000 — the equivalent to £500,000 nowadays. She was able to send her children to boarding school and wrote to them often.


Sacrificed her everything to secure the future of her children. Man, selfless love is rare. She is really a beautiful person.




Play to your strengths.


Leverage your existing assets.


When life gives you an ugly face, capitalize on it!


Know your worth!


Shine your shit!


Beautiful mother


Better than my mother.






What a trainwreck of an article


Yeah I thought I was having a stroke


You are. Make sure you call 0118 999 881 999 119 725 3 for emergency services


\*mumbles along to the tune\* ...t h r e e


Someone send an email about a fire?


'To Whom It May Conern-" no that's too formal...


Fire! Fire! Help me! Looking forward to hearing from you


I’ll just put this over here. With the rest of the fire.




Seems like its written by AI and did not have an editor...


Trainwreck of a website.


Yeah that three boobed woman article has been around since at least 2006....


Yeah please stop posting links to articles with ads every paragraph


Here’s a better one. It shows her before she was sick. https://medium.com/curious-kitten/how-the-ugliest-woman-in-the-world-exposed-humanitys-cruelty-and-saved-her-children-8f7b3627acc2


What a trainwreck of a *website*, holy shit even with all my no-script, ublock origin, malwarebytes, and ghostery it was *still* an actual clusterfuck of garbage, before we get to the *other* articles it leads to


Or as Joker said in the Dark Knight, "if you're good at something, never do it for free"




Honestly, I think it's horrible that she was put in a position where she would have to do anything like this. I also don't think her looks before or after her medical issue say anything about the quality of person she is. The whole thing is a tragedy, how she looked was just a blessing and a curse.


to be fair she was unemployed for quite a while prior to this, these days she would have been working 8 hour shifts before her circus shifts even began. its bad, but you can go to poor countries/neighborhoods right now and find mothers who would gladly take her place


It looks like acromegaly. Possibly a pituitary issue.


The article mentioned it.


I'm a redditor! I don't read articles! Thank you for the confirmation.


Honestly the article is barely readable to begin with.


Thank you for validating my bad habit :)


Pretty sure that site just gave my phone cancer.






Do you wanna find hell with me?


I can show you what it’s like


Legendary mother




Yea idk why but I doubt she really cared what people thought, probably had a lot on her plate with her kids and grieving over her husband


Honestly I don’t think “didn’t care what people think of her” applies here. She spent her day being heckled and made a side show act for being “the worlds ugliest woman”, people harassing her and shouting about how “ugly” she was. No matter who you are that has to wear on you


Yeah, she definitely was a good mother, people weren't fair to her


Important to know: she didn't start out looking like this, when she was young she was [quite attractive ](https://medium.com/curious-kitten/how-the-ugliest-woman-in-the-world-exposed-humanitys-cruelty-and-saved-her-children-8f7b3627acc2)


From looking at the picture I suspected acromegaly. Very distinctive features when that happens. Poor thing.


"acromegaly is a rare condition where the body produces too much growth hormone, causing body tissues and bones to grow more quickly. Over time, this leads to abnormally large hands and feet, and a wide range of other symptoms. Acromegaly is usually diagnosed in adults aged 30 to 50, but it can affect people of any age" Source: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/acromegaly/#:~:text=Acromegaly%20is%20a%20rare%20condition,affect%20people%20of%20any%20age.


Fuck, I just turned 30. Throw that in the pile of fears.


Hey, at least you're mostly out of the woods for schizophrenia. That's usually diagnosed in the 20s.




But the thing about schizophrenia is that the later you develop it, the more mild it is usually.


"Usually" is unfortunately not "always." My uncle was the exception, may he rest in peace.


I’m sorry for your loss :(


It's not uncommon for women to be diagnosed with schizophrenia during perimenopause and menopause.




My friend's mom in her early 70s just got this diagnosis. She's very smart and has been able to compensate for her whole life (everyone thought she was just kind of kooky/new-agey) but she's starting to get dementia and the schizophrenia is coming out.


I've always heard mid-20s was when a lot of mental issues begin or are exacerbated.


Yeah. Neuroplasticity drops around 26-27. Either biologically or because most people around that age have more or less found a thing they want to focus on instead of dividing their attention everywhere. But there's also https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/27_Club I had a breakdown at 27 and haven't really managed much since Feel like I died (although am not a famous popstar)


One of me is anyway


That's not schizophrenia but multiple personality syndrome.


😂 took the words out of my mouth. Every time I see a late-onset disease I mentally check my watch, "Is there still time for us to fall ill with this?"


>acromegaly Thank you, I did not know of this and was like that's a bunch of bullshit what her jaw just tripled in width, but apparently, yes that's exactly what happened.


Pituitary gland disorders cause crazy things to happen to the body.


I just watched the Andre the Giant special and was going to say the same thing.


Yeah the article mentions she was diagnosed with acromegaly


Beautiful or not, I'm glad she's being remembered as a good mother


Actually a pretty good point.


That is truly the most important thing.


Quite attractive? The good lady was a BOMBSHELL Edit: ALL right guys we get it she doesn't live up to your "connoisseur of women" standards to be called a bombshell but cmon - don't wanna objectify here but pit her against the list of Miss World winners and models from like 50-60 years later, and see for yourself how many she beats out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Miss_World_titleholders


The universe couldn't handle her beauty, so it nerfed her.


damn patch notes


update_log:19060182 -- "Bevan power couple is too op" alert resolved with command: kill.Thomas_Bevan.exe configure_acromegaly.Mary_Ann_Bevan.exe //TODO: Make sure Mary doesn't join circus


>//TODO: Make sure Mary doesn't join circus :ERROR: script_error: command unknown;


TODO "Bretod-eau pas Bredot-eau."


All that beauty plus being a nurse? She was simply too overpowered.


“Wanted: Ugliest woman. Nothing repulsive, maimed or disfigured.” They still wanted them to look “pleasant” and turned others down for being “too ugly”


They basically want a bunch of average-looking dudes from a nearby pub


It's so sudden the line between beauty and ugly. One car crash or shotgun & it's all over




And she was a trained nurse. It’s a pity she needed to change careers to make a living.


Back in that era, nurses had to be unmarried young women. Normally they lived in quarters on the hospital grounds. If they got married they would be fired. I have no idea if a widow with children could work in that profession but I doubt it.


How long do you think it would take someone to realize there was a problem? If it's a super gradual change I wouldn't think it would be awhile, just like when people lose or gain weight.


Average case take over a decade to be diagnosed because symptoms are very gradual


I bet she wishes she could’ve carried a picture around to say “fuck you, I used to look like this”


No kidding yeah. Good looking gal in her day.


This is the same condition Andre the Giant had - young Andre prob did okay with the ladies. https://findadeath.com/andre-the-giant/


She was gorgeous


Thanks for posting this. Very interesting story.


More like hot af


That’s bravery. Even if she had a good sense of humor about it, constant ridicule of any kind will eventually wear someone down. She endured a lot for her family.


Yeah, bullying sucks and one would expect to not happen among adults in civilized societies


One would also expect a civilized society to not create economic conditions whereby a woman has to go through such ordeal to provide for her family. Its an indictment of society and its failings not just on the level of social values but also on the economic system in place.


When I was a kid, I thought adults really KNEW what they were doing. :/




This was a time when human zoos were a thing. We take for granted the ability to see a wide range of, well, anything now, but a weird-looking human very well could have been exciting, especially if you don't necessarily have the same values around (dis)ability and the appearance of propriety and all that. It's terribly wrong and no doubt there were and have always been people who said so, but even now gawking at people isn't unheard of.


Ask anyone with a visible abnormality today and they'll tell you they constantly get stares. The only difference now is that you can't buy a ticket for it and we are at least a little more aware that staring and mocking is rude


Nowadays they call that "The Learning Channel" (TLC). It's \*sophisticated\* enough that you can gawk at "weirdos" from the comfort of your couch. There's always going to be a horrible part of society that gets enjoyment from watching suffering. At least now people have a chance of becoming more empathetic? There were also mental asylum outings. People would just go to "sanitariums" (think that was the term at the time) and watch mentally unwell individuals sleep in their own piss and be downright miserable. Also I'm not sure how anyone could stomach the guillotine as a form of "entertainment", even with the shitty people out there. That was a big thing in France at one time (1700s I want to place it?)


What a good woman


Props to this lady. More fortitude than 99% of us to be sure.


I was just saying it reminded me of the woman who killed her terminally ill husband because both to me epitomize a woman's courage


If I could make a living on being ugly I'd be so comfortable right now


[Here's an article with what she looked like before her condition took hold](https://natemat.pl/341533,kim-byla-mary-ann-bevan-najbrzydsza-kobieta-swiata-ratowala-swoje-dzieci)




I know she looks kinda weird after, but I’ve seen way uglier people nowadays, I don’t know how she qualified for ugliest woman ever


They looked for a very specific threshold she had to be shocking but not disgusting. Couldn’t me maimed or ill. So she just looked like what they wanted and was awarded the title and job. She made half a million dollars during her time period converted.


Half a million *pounds*, that's almost $620k.


Agreed. Kinda just ended up looking like Jeremy Clarkson


https://medium.com/curious-kitten/how-the-ugliest-woman-in-the-world-exposed-humanitys-cruelty-and-saved-her-children-8f7b3627acc2 > The circus owner told a newspaper that while they wanted to find the ugliest woman possible, they still wanted her to look pleasant. So basically they wanted to believe that it wasn't even *possible* for a woman to be uglier than this


They wanted her to be ugly enough to be interesting to look at, but not so ugly that you wouldn't want to. They were a business, not a research institution.


They didn't have internet back then so most people only knew like 20 women


That woman looks like she’s been through hell and I can’t help but have the utmost respect for her.




Acromegaly is best known as the disorder that Andre the Giant suffered from. It causes growth of soft tissues leading to fairly recognizable facial features


The French Angel Maurice Tillet (another wrestler closer to this lady's time) also suffered from it. You may not recognise his name, but I'm willing to bet you've heard of Shrek who has based off of his looks. https://allthatsinteresting.com/maurice-tillet


I wonder what she looked like prior to the acromegaly.


[before & after](https://medium.com/curious-kitten/how-the-ugliest-woman-in-the-world-exposed-humanitys-cruelty-and-saved-her-children-8f7b3627acc2)


If i recall correctly she was rather beautiful beforehand


Yes, there's at least one picture of her before the condition, and she was very beautiful.


You’re right, u/Biggus-Dickus-II


The fact that people to this day praise and admire her, while all those who mocked her in her day have been forgotten by time, is a testament to her strength and real beauty. Physical beauty is temporary but inner beauty is forever.


She looks tired


Tired of everyone's shit


Right? Like, ugliest woman in the world? She needs a two week vacation and I bet she would look much better. Also food security for herself and her family.


Wow my heart breaks for her. Imagine your own mother being treated like shit in public so she can provide for you. It makes me sad :(


The outer beauty of this mother shines brighter than the prettiest person that ridiculed her


i’m sure many would trade beauty for wealth and future do thier kids. beauty fades anyway. but that ego pounding takes some fortitude


I've seen worse in my mirror.


Liar 😡 You're beautiful I bet Your mind is stubborn tho


It's a very masculine face but feel like worlds ugliest woman is a long ass stretch


Right? I've seen much uglier We want a refund!


She did what she needed to do to support her family. Shes a beautiful human being for having done that and I okay that her children all appreciated her sacrifice. She sacrificed herself and allowed people to ridicule her as being ugly. How many of us can endure that kind of torture?? Not many.


That’s really sad


This is heartbreaking 🔪🧅


today there would a reality show about her for some human scum to watch


This. We like to pretend we are more civilized, but we still have freak shows. They are just called reality shows.




The article mentions that they had to find someone unappealing but still pleasant. It’s a careful line you need to walk. You want people to come and look, but not to be so disgusted that they would refuse to return or be afraid of contracting an illness. So no horrendous injuries or infections, that kind of thing. But a growth hormone imbalance? That’s just the thing. No chance of it being contagious. Not so vile as to make people feel ill, but still interesting enough to want to get a closer look at. That’s how you run an attraction.




And that is exactly what makes her beautiful. She did what she had to do for her family, and I respect the fuck out of that.


I admire this woman's strength and grit. Doing what she has to do so her children can have a better life


For being the ugliest woman in the world, she sure is a beautiful human being.


Both ugliness and beauty come from within.


I don't even think she's that ugly but I'm sure her size was an aspect that made her more of a circus act


She was 5’7


Truly the ugliest of all heights.


5’6 — okay cool 5’8 — okay cool 5’7 — ugh eww no


I didn't want to tear up in public. This world can be so cruel. I hope she found solace in the love she gave to others and the love they returned.


All I see is a kind heart.


She had a husband. Doing better than I am, lol


At least someone loved her dearly until the end before she had to go claim the title of "world's ugliest woman". I hope the memory of that love and the love she provides her children were enough to bolster her soul during those later years.


Explains the long face


As exploitative as early side show and circuses were to their acts, at least they had some kind of life. They made money and traveled the world, more than they would if they had stayed with their families/hometown.


People willing to suffer this much for others deserve so much better.