The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

21 August 2007

Way before Ugly Betty

The Human Marvels has a brief article (with picture) about Mary Ann Bevans, billed during her carnival-attraction days as the Homeliest Woman in the World. Mrs Bevans, born in 1874, exhibited symptoms similar to acromegaly; widowed at forty with four children, she turned to the carnival circuit to earn a living.

If you haven't looked at the picture yet and you're expecting to see something out of a Basil Wolverton nightmare, you may be surprised to see that while she's definitely not cute, Mrs Bevans is hardly horrifying. Certainly Mr Bevans wasn't scared off. Come to think of it, Cleopatra wasn't exactly a looker, either.

(Via the perennially-hot Miss Cellania.)

Posted at 1:05 PM to Almost Yogurt

For a more Wolverton appearance, might I suggest Grace McDaniels?

Posted by: J. Tithonus Pednaud at 2:11 PM on 21 August 2007

Point taken.

I must admit, though, that I had no idea there had been so many Ugly Woman contests over the years.

Posted by: CGHill at 5:24 PM on 21 August 2007

From the Wikipedia article on Basil W:

Jules Feiffer has said, "I don't like his work. I think it's ugly".

I'm sure Basil thanked him for the compliment. Heh.

Posted by: McGehee at 6:17 PM on 21 August 2007

I see women uglier than Bevans and the local Wal-mart every week.

Posted by: Lynn at 9:36 PM on 21 August 2007

DOH! "at the local Wal-mart..."

Posted by: Lynn at 9:38 PM on 21 August 2007

Your local Wal-Mart is probably not so gorgeous itself.

Posted by: CGHill at 9:40 PM on 21 August 2007

Jules Feiffer's work looks like wire hangers in a hurry.

There, I said what you were all thinking. Don't deny it.

Posted by: Mister Snitch! at 10:54 PM on 21 August 2007

Perenially-hot? You are a sweetie!

The Grace McDaniels story is so sad. How did a shy, sensitive woman get entered into an Ugly Woman Contest, much less a career she didn't want in the first place? Possibly she was pushed by a family that didn't want her. At least Mary Ann Bevans made her own choices, to support her kids.

Posted by: Miss Cellania at 9:19 AM on 22 August 2007