In 1860, the "world's ugliest woman" died and now, 153 years later, she's finally being laid to rest. Julia Pastrana was born with a genetic disorder that covered most of her face with hair and was called the "bear woman" by her husband and manager (husbanager?) Theodore Lent.
In fact, he went on to describe her in a New York Times article as the "link between mankind and the ourang-outang."
In her early twenties, Lent brought Pastrana around to freak shows where she'd sing and dance for gawkers, and after she died at age 26 while giving birth to a son, also covered in hair, who also died, Lent decided to embalm his dead wife and continue to trot her around to exhibitions in Europe.
Huh. God forbid Kim Kardashian dies young, would Kris embalm her daughter and take her on a world tour? The parallels between Kris Jenner and this Lent guy are faint but visible -- anyone who exploits their loved one's freakishness for fame, money, and attention does not have the family's best interest in mind. Even though Kim's a freak of nature because of her undeniable beauty and an ass that just won't quit, it doesn't make it any better.
<Cue the circus theme song.> Step right up, folks! Only two pence to see my hairy wife! Only $17.5 million to have my daughter get married on TV!
Thankfully, Pastrana's body has been brought back to Mexico for a proper, and final burial. It's a dignified ending for a woman whose life must have been servile and abject.
Hopefully Kim's just as lucky.
What do you think?
Photo via Wiki Commons