Who Puts Dead People’s Skin in Shadowboxes?

Glynis Ratcliffe
Written by Glynis Ratcliffe

Apparently there’s a service for people who really love their tattoos. Or rather, people who love people who really love their tattoos. Finally, you can hold on to your favourite piece of ink after your loved one dies.

Well, you can keep their tattoo, frame it and hang it in your house.

Wait. What?

You mean someone takes a rubbing of the tattoos and presents you with a charcoal-on-paper reproduction, right? Or an artist renders it on silk with watercolours?

Bitch, please. That’s not what someone who was passionate about their tattoos would want. Someone that hardcore would want the actual tattoo preserved. So that everyone could appreciate it right there, hanging on the wall.

That’s right, motherfuckers. That piece of skin can be on display over the piano or on your bedside table. And no, that’s not a euphemism. I mean an actual piece of skin that has the tattoo on it. This company does…something to it to keep it looking fresh and life-like for all of eternity.

Pardon me, I’m just going to blow chunks now. I’m not sure if I’m throwing up over the pure horror of this concept. Maybe it is the fact that a company has thoroughly thought this out and researched and tested it and and is now (I assume) making money off of it? Or perhaps I’m barfing over the idea that there are people out there who would consider doing this for a loved one. Because those people in the video cannot be real.

Nope. Nope. Nope, creepy little girl in the floral dress. THAT IS NOT YOUR DADDY’S ANKLE SKIN YOU HAVE FRAMED.

Isn’t this like next-level taxidermy? Fuck keeping sweet old Rover around, all stuffed and staring at everyone who walks by. Why stop at just a piece of skin? Let’s taxiderm (that’s the verb, right? I’m sure it is.) the shit out of your girlfriend, because she had sleeves of tattoos, and EVERY SINGLE ONE had meaning, goddamn it. You might even get a company who can make your dead girlfriend posable, so you can change things up, when you get bored. One week, she’s sitting in the corner watching whoever you bring home for dinner, the next week, she’s standing behind the door, so you can scare your buddies when they come in.

Okay, before I take things too far, let me make it clear: I cannot fathom this level of bizarre, misplaced nostalgia. If you loved your partner’s tattoos, take a fucking picture. It’s pretty simple. Then you won’t ever have to consider having actual dead  human skin framed and hanging on your wall. Because when you spend time loving on a piece of flesh from a dead person, no matter how much you loved them, you’re walking a line that is perilously close to Hannibal Lecter territory. You could find yourself pulling a Buffalo Bill, making sure your boyfriend continues to moisturize.

Moisturize! MOISTURIZE DAMMIT. “It rubs the lotion on its skin…”

Nope. Motherfucking nope, people.

Oh, and a note to my husband, in case he’s wondering: Honey, I do not want any goddamn piece of you hanging around after you’re gone. You are the love of my life, but you will live on in my memories and in photographs hanging on walls, not bits of inked epidermis. I mean, I love your eyes, but you won’t see me putting them in a shadow box, so you can watch over your progeny forevermore.

Take a picture, people. It’ll last longer and you won’t have to explain your “art” collecton to your mother in law.

About the author

Glynis Ratcliffe

Glynis Ratcliffe

Glynis Ratcliffe used to be an opera singer, but after her daughter begged her to stop singing and be quiet for the millionth time, she decided to use her inside voice and write instead. Now she spends her time writing on her blog, The Joy of Cooking (for Little Assholes), about the important things in life, like potty training, eating too much Nutella and laughing at how ridiculous her kids are. You can find her writing on Scary Mommy, The Huffington Post and The Mid, as well.

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