Beauty is more than skin deep | PostIndependent.com

Beauty is more than skin deep

April in GlenwoodApril E. Clark

I saw dead people.I had no idea yoga, skateboarding and skiing were possible postmortem.Over the Fourth of July weekend, I went to Gunther von Hagen’s “Body Worlds 2: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies” at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.The majority of people I’ve told this to have been a little grossed out until I assure them there was no blood and guts.OK, there were some guts.But they’re all hard and preserved through this process called plastination. The best way I can explain plastination is when decomposition of the human body is stopped, water and fats from tissue are replaced with polymers, and the whole darn thing turns to plastic.It’s like looking at figures in a wax museum, except the people were actually alive at one point. And they weren’t missing skin and stuff.At least I hope not.The exhibit is widely popular routinely selling out since it opened in March and is quite the lesson in anatomy. I’ve never really been a big science girl, although I was way into dissecting a pig fetus my sophomore year in high school.Don’t ask why. I think it had something to do with my best friend being my lab partner. Plenty of time to gossip in between slicing internal organs soaked in formaldehyde.I’m so not Quincy.The exhibit doesn’t start out with a bunch of dead people in compromising poses in the beginning. Visitors are eased into the exhibit with a lot of bones and tissue to look at through glass cases that you’re not and I repeat, not supposed to lean on. To make sure this doesn’t happen, a security guy who kind of reminded me of a mall cop meets Barney Fife, will yell at you in front of everyone.That’ll bring back some bad memories of being expected to behave at places like the museum or church. Sitting still and being quiet for kids is like me riding a bike and doing a yoga pose.People are also not supposed to touch the bodies and their parts in the exhibit. That’s a definite no-no. Some lady thought I was touching this one dead guy, but I was really just pointing out something closely to a friend.The lady said to her friend, very snottily, “I thought you weren’t supposed to touch anything.”Then her friend said, “You’re not.”Whatever I’ve touched the hand of a dead person before and it really didn’t do a whole lot for me.I’d be totally lying if I said I didn’t sneak a few peeks at the male genitalia. It’s not like they’re hidden in a pair of tighty whities or anything. The family jewels are right there in plain view, flaccid penises and droopy testicles dangling by their ductus deferens and all.I’m hoping that little revelation doesn’t make me into a gigantic perv.I hate to admit that the male reproductive system is intriguing, but it is. All that work as an editor on the Cialis product team must have done some damage. I knew about the dangers of four-hour erections long before the commercial came out and the jokes began.I have plenty of Cialis promotional swag to prove it.To add some symmetry to my weirdness, I also couldn’t help but flash a few glances at the female genitalia. What woman isn’t curious to see what that all looks like on a dead person?My grandma, for one.Guys, just remember, breasts are just a bunch of fat with mammary glands mixed in. If it were that cut and dried, plastic surgery would be limited to face lifts and nose jobs. And don’t forget tummy tucks.I’m not sure how breast implants would look after plastination. Maybe Pamela Anderson will donate her body to science, and “Body Worlds 6: The Anatomical Exhibition of Fake Human Bosoms” will be a hit on the museum circuit.Talk about a crowd pleaser.Just remember to look, not touch.April E. Clark recommends “Body World 2” to anyone up for an anatomy lesson and the two-and-a-half hour drive to Denver. But act fast the exhibit ends July 23. She can be reached at aclark@postindependent.com


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