In an effort to brighten up the image of undertaking, a profession often regarded as joyless, a German online portal for burial price comparisons recently held a unique beauty contest for female undertakers. 36-year-old Rachel Merks got the most votes and was pronounced Miss Farewell.
Merks, who runs an undertaking firm with her husband, in Lachheim, Baden-Württemberg, said she first heard about the Miss Farewell beauty contest from her brother-in-law. Intrigued by the idea, she submitted a few photos of herself along with a short description. Little did Rachel know that she would actually beat 46 other female undertakers from all over Germany and win the coveted title of Germany’s most beautiful undertaker. “It is wonderful to show this depressing taboo theme in another light for once,” the proud winner said.
The beauty contest was supposed to brighten up the image of undertaking, but some in the business thought it was a bit too much. “In this sensitive line of work, that’s really pushing it,” said Hans-Joachim Möller, manager of the association of independent undertakers. Rolf Lichtner of the Association of German Undertakers was less harsh in his statements, saying that the competition was “a nice joke” and that “it doesn’t hurt when an undertaker is also beautiful.”