Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Price of Looking Good for Eternity

I may have heard it all now!

As you know, there’s been a recent boom in cosmetic procedures, all in hopes that we will look better for a little longer.

And, it turns out, the dead are no exception.

As the population has becoming increasingly sophisticated about procedures to enhance their appearance, so have their requests, morticians say, for smoothing lines, plumping lips and even boosting sagging parts for that last big special occasion—their funeral.

“People used to say, just throw me in a pine box and bury me in the back yard,” says Mark Duffey, president and CEO of Everest Funeral, a national funeral planning and concierge service. “But that’s all changing. Now people want to be remembered. A funeral is their last major event and they want to look good for it. I’ve even had people say, ‘I want you to get rid of my wrinkles and make me look younger’.”

Morticians have always performed a bit of cosmetic magic when it comes to recapturing the lifelike appearance of a person who’s passed on. What's happening now, however, is some people are making advance arrangements for these final touches and in ways they never used to even think about.

“I’ve had people mention that they want their breasts to look perky when they’re dead,” says David Temrowski, funeral director of Temrowski & Sons Funeral Home in Warren, Michigan. “Or they’ll say, ‘Can you get these wrinkles out?’

These recent cosmetic concerns come as no surprise to Dr. Anthony Youn, a Michigan-based plastic surgeon who’s practiced in Beverly Hills, California, and appeared on the television show “Dr. 90210.”

“Society is unfortunately getting more and more vain as time goes on,” says Youn. “Fifty years ago, no one would have thought about how good they’re going to look when they die, but now that’s probably something the ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’ talk about. If they die, they want to look good in their casket. It’ll be one last time to show off their new outfit and their plumped lips.”

What do you think? Would you go this far to look good in your casket?

When you think about it, what’s different about having these procedures done after death and before going to your final resting spot? Isn’t vanity vanity?

Share your thoughts. I’d love to hear your opinion.


  1. I'm a pine-box sort of guy. My earthly shell may be stuck inside, but the REAL me won't be there...

  2. I'm with Will on this one!

    True story: When most individuals were looking at my dad in his casket they remarked something like, "Wow! Was he ever this skinny as a boy even?" He had lost so much weight while being in the hospital - he really didn't look much like himself. I distinctly remember one woman saying, "Looks like Larry had lipo!"

  3. I'm for having the Great Physician give me a whole new body. I won't need that old wrinkled-up worn out body any more.

  4. Wellllll... I'd like a new set of boobs and a flat stomach again. But when I die, burn me baby burn me -- even if some parts simply melt. LOL!!


  5. Heidi you make me laugh. I have told my bride "don't you dare put me in a suit. Cycling shirt is fine if you feel you must have this display. Then burn me baby burn me!" Oh yeah, I at least want a smile on my face. LOL

  6. The whole funeral business is nothing but a big racket, but don't get me started on that!

    Just put me in my Sooners casket and set me out to sea!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I can't wait to read what you have written.