Death Becomes Her: A Mortician’s Thoughts on Fetishizing Death

Women’s bodies are often manipulated to please. We see this in popular media where famous women are constantly getting plastic surgery or alterations to their bodies to become more appealing- in whatever way desired. The desire often comes from others around them, not their own. We also see this in fashion. Lately, violence against women has become popularly fetishistic. Silent, corpse-like, pale women can often be spotted in fashion advertisements. Notice that all of these women have similar body types, and skin color.

The Chick and the Dead

I call myself a ‘Mortician’ for want of a more succinct term in the UK for my profession, but the real job title is Anatomical Pathology Technologist. In my eight years assisting Pathologists with autopsies (post-mortems) I saw every possible face of death, and believe me none could be considered ‘beautiful’. I looked upon death every day: some days with grim determination and a sense of duty to grieving families, but other days with a sense of horror or outrage at man’s inhumanity to man, or just their sheer bad luck. Some days I’d be sated with a valuable sense of being needed at this last point in a patient’s journey, other days I’d shower long and hard to remove death’s cold touch from my flesh, drink wine to remove death’s bitter after-taste and wash my clothes twice to remove death’s hideous, cloying presence. So when I read this recent…

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