The criteria of physical beauty vary from one generation and one culture to another. Unfortunately, Mary Ann Bevan had the misfortune to live in a time when those who were “different”, without any consideration, rejected by society.
Born in 1874 in London, Mary Ann worked as a nurse and married at 29, with a florist named Thomas Bevan.
From this union will be born 4 children. But the situation will change.
Between headaches and muscular pains, Mary begins to see her face change and at the same time, she has to face the death of her husband. After a battery of exams, the diagnosis falls.
The mother is suffering from “acromegaly”, a hormonal disorder that causes an exaggerated increase / growth of the face, hands and feet. She continues to work but is struggling to make ends meet, which causes big financial problems.
Not finding the means to go up the slope, she ends up turning to a rather ‘special’ solution. She participates in a contest that aims to elect the ugliest woman “Homeliest woman” … and she wins. Despite this first very humiliating experience, she agrees to become the “phenomenon of fair” of a circus, only to be able to overcome the financial worries of the family.
Whatever happens, she wants her children to miss nothing.
The most disturbing thing is that even today, this woman is mocked because of her physical appearance. In fact, a company called Hallamark was selling greeting cards just a few years ago with Mary Ann’s picture of her being the ugliest woman in the world. A German doctor then contacted the company to inform him of the terrible suffering of this woman. Since then, they have stopped producing these cards in question.
The inspiring and certainly trying life of this young woman pushes us to wonder how people can be so cruel and so lenient and compassionate towards others. But it also shows us that true beauty emanates from within and especially from our actions towards those around us who love us.