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The tragic story of the most ugly woman in the world 

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December 20, 1874 in England, in Londln, was born a girl who was destined to become the most ugly woman in the world. This pejorative “title” Marie Ann Webster got for suffering from acromegaly. Acromegaly is a disease that leads to an increase in brushes, feet and facial bones. And over time, the situation is only getting worse.
The woman was born in the family of a simple worker, she was one of the eight children, and therefore from the very beginning she was predicted a difficult and not very happy life. Later, she became a nurse. In 1903, she seemed to have smiled luck – she married a greens trader Thomas Bevan and even gave birth to his four children. But the happiness did not last long: after a few years, Thomas suddenly died, leaving her with the kids in their hands without the ability to feed them

Archive photo

To find means for existence, Marie Anne tried to take part in the contest “The most domestic woman”, but did not win, but because of despair she decided on a humiliating step – she became a participant in the competition for the ugliest appearance. The disease began to disfigure Marie Ann shortly after her marriage. Together with her came the headaches and severe pains in the muscles, and besides, the unfortunate began to lose sight. The announcement, which called for participation in the contest, was hosted by Claude Bartram, who was a European agent of the American circus, Barnum and Bailey. Bartram, his employers gave the assignment to find “new freaks”, but he did not succeed, and he decided to advertise in the newspaper …
Mary Ann made the first photo in her life, and this time a victory awaited her. After this, the woman literally traded face. She exposed her imperfect traits to public view, and this earned her a living. However, the performances were given to the woman with difficulty. From the very beginning, she was opposed to working as a “freak”, in addition, she was afraid of separation from children. But Bartram persuaded her, promising a good fee and a secure life for her kids. She hesitated for a long time, but finally got on board the ship, which took her to America.
Arrival of Mary Ann caused a sensation – all the newspapers wrote that “the ugliest woman in the world” came to them.
Specific appearance of the woman was interested in somebody Sam Gumperts, who allowed her to appear in the freak show on Coney Island as a freak – for the amusement of the public. It was in his show that Marie-Anne spent most of her life after her husband’s death.
At the end of life, the woman demonstrated herself at the World Exhibition as part of the show program of the Ringling Brothers Circus.
Recall that circus freaks existed in America until the mid-60-ies of the last century. And until the 20-ies it was a very profitable business not only for the owners of the show, but also for its “exhibits”.

Mary Ann with children / Archive photo

For a time, Mary Ann really made good money, which she could send to her children, placed for the time of her absence from the boarding school. But she could not stay without her babies for a long time, and so, together with the wandering fair, she returned to England. There she unsuccessfully invested money in various projects, burned out and began to drink. Marie Anne died at the age of 59 in 1933, the newspapers wrote that “from a broken heart.” At the time of death, she weighed 76 kg, her height was 170 cm, which for people with acromegaly is not so much.

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