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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

21

Tuesday's Heartening Valentine's Tale

[Pastrana's husband] soon began exhibiting the embalmed bodies of his wife and son. He later visited Mexico and found a bearded woman whom he married and billed as Pastrana’s sister, “Zenora Pastrana.” The couple traveled, and Zenora performed alongside the bodies.

The Times reports on Julia Pastrana, who was known as the "Bear Woman," "The Ape Woman," and "The Ugliest Woman in the World." She died in 1860 at age 26, but her remains are only just now being buried today in her hometown. Her husband sounds like a catch.



21 Comments / Post A Comment

iceberg

Maybe she didn't have the prettiest face but that dress is fierce. Look how sassy she looks with that little pointed toe!

iceberg

@iceberg and does it go without saying that she would hasve been a Pinner - we would have told her to DTMFA with fire.

PatatasBravas

@iceberg Also apparently she had really pretty hands, and a really pretty voice!

True, but then, what other choices did she have? She was sold and I suspect life would not necessarily have been kinder to her had she managed herself as an act.

allendaniel

Great!Thank you!!!!!@a

hallelujah

Heartbreaking. I just want to go back in time and give her a hug & punch that motherfucker in the mouth. Repeatedly, with a brick.

crango

@hallelujah Right? What I want to know is how the hell he managed to get the second wife to sign on. "Hey girl, listen, my wife and kid are still around but it's cool because they're dead! Also, can you say you're her sister? Come on baby, hear me out! We'll put their corpses on stage while you'll do your thing, it'll be great!"

hallelujah

@crango Probably because she was also called a monster from the day she was born & was desperate for any small bit of human kindness or affection *sob*

PatatasBravas

The details that really made me teary with rage are that a) vandals completely destroyed and desecrated her five day old baby's mummy, and b) when they were transporting her body, she still had rods and pins in her feet for display purposes.

PatatasBravas

I MEAN

HER HUSBAND WAS NOT THE ONLY PERSON WHO TREATED HER SHITTILY

WE KEPT DOING THAT UNTIL THIS YEAR

Disco Sheets

@PatatasBravas Seriously. Thank goodness for that artist for finally giving this poor woman a dignified sendoff.

anachronistique

@PatatasBravas Also, "consumed by mice." Gaaaaaah.

teaandcakeordeath

Could husbands just ask for their wives to be mummified then?
I want to give Julia Pastrana a hug.
I wonder what happened to Zenora? Im hoping the answer is 'lived happily ever after off of her husbands millions'

hallelujah

@teaandcakeordeath If there's any justice in the world, it's "killed him and made it look like an accident" then enjoyed the money for the rest of her days.

teaandcakeordeath

@hallelujah
I'd also accept: used his own cash to mummify him. with fire.

cosmia

Francis Buckland, a British natural historian, wrote in an 1868 book that Pastrana had a sweet singing voice, “great taste in music and dancing, and could speak three languages.” He added, “She was very charitable, and gave largely to local institutions from her earnings.”

Badass!

bookworm

I remember reading about Julia in a book my aunt had called Very Special People, which I was slightly obsessed with when I was a kid. So many tragic and fascinating stories - I remember being particularly interested in the conjoined twins who both had spouses and children. My baby mind couldn't wrap around it.

fondue with cheddar

@bookworm Me too! There are so many different ways to live, some which are a choice and some which are forced upon us. Stories like that force us to consider other ways of being and reevaluate what we consider "normal".

HeyThatsMyBike

Note: Avoid google image searching "Gingival Hyperplasia" so soon before lunch, unless you find pictures of lots of swollen, bloody gums soothing.

wee_ramekin

Edith, while this story is equal parts intriguing, heartbreaking, and enraging, I gotta say: I like your Valentine's posting style.

annejumps@twitter

Ohhhh Julia Pastrana ;__;

Amphora

Ugh. Reminds me of Minik Wallace, the Inuit man who was not only brought to the US with his family as a curiosity in 1897, but later found his father on display at the Museum of Natural History in New York. They didn't return him to Greenland for a proper burial until 1993.

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