Friday, March 8, 2013

Ladies I Admire

In case you didn't know, today is International Women's Day, a day all about celebrating how awesome it is to be a woman, and naturally that makes today an entirely appropriate day for this post. You could say I'm about as big on the concept of "Girl Power" as the Spice Girls were back in 1996, and thus, I really, really like seeing women who have found success doing something they love. If what they love happens to be the slightest bit obscure or taboo, I'm even more impressed and interested. Since my own interests tend to border on the strange and macabre, I think it's only natural for me to look up to women who deal in such things. 

Alas, I have rambled on enough. Here's a list of women I admire immensely whom I feel should be celebrated today.


Caitlin Doughty -- also known as the Rachel Ray/Martha Stewart/Paula Dean of Death -- is on a mission: to change the way you, me and the rest of the world think about the ever so taboo subject of death. She's the gal who started The Order of the Good Death, and in her own words; 

"The Order is about making death a part of your life. That means committing to staring down your death fears- whether it be your own death, the death of those you love, the pain of dying, the afterlife (or lack thereof), grief, corpses, bodily decomposition, or all of the above. Accepting that death itself is natural, but the death anxiety and terror of modern culture are not."

She also has a series of slightly hilarious informational videos on Youtube called "Ask a Mortician" where she tackles many user-submitted questions regarding the big sleep, including such gems as Do caskets explode? How does decomposition work? and Do corpses poop? -- complete with a cheesy theme song, silly sound effects and lots and lots of death-related puns. I tend to think of her as a more attractive and more lively version of the Crypt Keeper from "Tales from the Crypt."

(Yes, there are a lot of pretty ladies holding human skulls in this post)

Lindsey Fitzharris -- Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris, I should say --  is the woman behind the case files at The Chirurgeon's Apprentice, a blog dedicated to the gruesome history of pre-anesthetic surgery and other ooky things. She's a medical historian with a doctorate in 17th-century alchemical medicine, which is basically just a fancy way of saying she's a professional bad ass. Some of my favorite posts of her's include Syphilis: A Love StoryReal Life Zombies: A History of Cotard's DelusionThe Rotten Tooth: A Brief History of Dentistry and Behind the Mask: The Plague Doctor. Oh, did I mention she's also currently working on a television documentary called "Medicine's Dark Secrets"? Does that sound nearly as interesting to you as it does to me? Wonderful! You can watch the trailer here.
If you've ever seen the show Oddities, you're probably already well acquainted with Laura Flook, the mortician turned model turned fashion designer who's a regular customer at Obscura. She's also been featured on the spin off, Odd Folks Home. Laura is probably on my top five list of people I would love to hang out with for an afternoon because she's just.... super out there and I think she's fascinating. Her clothing is inspired by Victorian fashion and memento mori, and her dresses are absolutely stunning.


  1. Awesome way to commemorate International Women's Day! And "Syphilis: A Love Story" is going to be stuck in my head all day now. ;)

  2. Awesome feature on some awesome ladies! :)

  3. What a cool post! I once took a class on zombies, vampires, and death practices around the world. It was probably one of the coolest classes I took that didn't pertain to my major. I think the way we view death now and how people viewed it in, say the 1900's is really interesting. I wonder in the future people will think our practices are just as strange.


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