• Caroline Ruivo

The ugliest woman in the world


There is a story of a nurse named Mary Ann Bevan who was born in 1874. Mary Ann suffered from acromegaly which is a hormonal disorder that can lead to distinctive facial distortion. This rare disease affected her entire body and she was sadly deemed to be "unrecognizable" after living with the condition for five years.


After losing her husband, Mary Ann found herself in desperate financial need to provide for their four children and decided to enter a beauty contest. This contest offered a cash prize to the lucky winner and it was called: "The World's Ugliest Woman".


Well, she won this offensive title with humility and was later hired by the circus as a "freak show" performer where she toured different cities. Not only did Mary Ann endure the hardship of being diagnosed with a rare disease, but she chose to optimize her unfortunate situation based on a shameful standard of society.


Mary Ann's heart was focused on supporting her children as a widowed wife but the world was laughing at her because of the way she looked. Once you know her story, you can see that she was deserving of an award for a completely different title.


Reflection Question: Is the way you feel about yourself (and others) dependent on external qualities or circumstances?


Marry Ann Bevan (Before & After)

Photo by Elina Sazonova