That's exactly what TikTok's morticians are doing: allowing their curious followers to face any fears they may have through education. "People are intrigued by morticians because we're talking about one of the most hush-hush subjects in society," Eileen says. Perhaps brought on by the global pandemic, the TikTok comments section proves we're more morbidly curious
than ever. In Canada alone, there have been more than 29,700 coronavirus-related deaths. Dr. Pamela Rutledge
, media psychologist and director of the Media Psychology Research Center
, says: "Many people have experienced losing a family member, colleague or friend at a time when social isolation made the loss more poignant. Death is an existential threat because we don't know what it’s like. The ability to watch morticians addresses some of that curiosity and takes away some of the mystique. Humour especially diffuses the anxiety and fear." Pamela explains that the popular questions about makeup are less about beauty than the cultural tradition of preparing a body so that it looks as though death hasn't occurred. "Makeup softens the intensity of death and extends control in real-world terms," she says. "It helps relieve some of that existential threat. One of the ways to overcome death anxiety and help people who are grieving is to talk about it, rather than pretend it doesn’t exist."