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Glamorous undertaker puts the lid on what happens to people’s bodies after they die

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A funeral director keeps the lid on what happens to people’s bodies after they die, while giving a behind-the-scenes look at how she keeps the deceased looking their best.

Melissa Jo, known as @funeralbabehas nearly 500,000 followers on TikTok, where she shares educational videos on everything from the role of a funeral director to the embalming process.

“When you get embalmed, it’s like a spa treatment for your corpse,” she explained in a clip. ‘Your hair is washed and conditioned. Your nails trimmed, filed, cleaned. Ear and nose hair trimmed. [We] tweeze those eyebrows. Shave your unwanted mustache. We’re like your personal stylist.’

Melissa Jo, known as @funeralbabe, has nearly 500,000 followers on TikTok, where she shares educational videos about her career as a funeral director

She's covered everything from the role of a funeral director to what happens when a person isn't embalmed

She's covered everything from the role of a funeral director to what happens when a person isn't embalmed

She’s covered everything from the role of a funeral director to what happens when a person isn’t embalmed

In another recent video, she gave a “crash course” on the funeral industry for viewers who weren’t quite sure what she does for a living.

“The best way to explain this is to think of a wedding,” she said. ‘The wedding day is the funeral day. Your wedding planner is your undertaker [or] the undertaker, but the difference is that funeral directors are postmortem vascular surgeons.’

Melissa then listed the seemingly endless amount of tasks funeral directors are responsible for on any given day.

“We pick up the deceased from the place of death at all hours of the night, weekends and holidays. If they die in a hospital or nursing home, we go alone. We go home visits with two people. You don’t know what you’re going to run into. And to do that, we need a van and a stretcher and all the equipment,” she explained.

In a recent video, Melissa revealed why many funeral homes have red lighting, explaining that the color was chosen for a reason

In a recent video, Melissa revealed why many funeral homes have red lighting, explaining that the color was chosen for a reason

In a recent video, Melissa revealed why many funeral homes have red lighting, explaining that the color was chosen for a reason

'We use redneck bulbs in our lamps.  They soften the image, you know, it softens the room,” she said.  'You wouldn't want to be under a ring light when you're dead'

‘We use redneck bulbs in our lamps. They soften the image, you know, it softens the room,” she said. ‘You wouldn’t want to be under a ring light when you’re dead’

‘We embalm. We meet families and we go through the whole funeral plan, we go through everything. we arrange [funerals] with churches and clergy. We write obituaries, post them on our websites, [and] send them to newspapers.’

Melissa noted that funeral directors are the ones responsible for dressing the body and applying makeup. They also make all the prayer cards and register books and order flowers.

‘We order the cemetery or order the crematorium. We do all the paperwork, all the legal clearances,” she added. “Dude, it’s a lot. And don’t forget that we also deal with the families.’

Melissa also pointed out that there are only about 24,000 funeral directors in the US — and the typical salary is about $37,000 to $69,000 a year for all that work.

She also recently delivered a

She also recently delivered a “crash course” on the funeral industry for viewers who weren’t quite sure what she does for a living

Melissa pointed out that there are only about 24,000 funeral directors in the US — and the typical salary is about $37,000 to $69,000 a year

Melissa pointed out that there are only about 24,000 funeral directors in the US — and the typical salary is about $37,000 to $69,000 a year

As a funeral director, she has plenty of tricks to make a body look absolutely perfect in an open casket.

Melissa has previously shown how she uses pieces of wire hangers to hold shoes together so the feet don’t pop apart.

She also tucks newspapers under the deceased’s pants or skirt to keep the fabric from draping awkwardly.

And she always carries lighter fluid in her cosmetic mortuary box.

Melissa explained that morgue cosmetics are “often very thick because they are full of pigment,” which is great for covering bruises. But when she doesn’t need to, she uses lighter fluid to cut the makeup and make it look more natural.

TikTok's undertaker often answers viewers' questions in follow-up clips, and she was recently asked how long it takes for maggots to appear on a corpse.

TikTok’s undertaker often answers viewers’ questions in follow-up clips, and she was recently asked how long it takes for maggots to appear on a corpse.

“Maggots really aren’t something we often deal with at the funeral home — not to say we don’t,” she said.

TikTok’s undertaker often answers viewers’ questions in follow-up clips, and she was recently asked how long it takes for maggots to appear on a corpse.

Maggots come from blowflies. Blow flies lay eggs that become maggots. They can smell something dead – animals and humans – within 10 to 15 minutes of death, up to 10 miles away. A single fly can lay up to 300 eggs,” she explains.

After days of feeding, maggots eventually turn into blowflies. However, most people die inside, so blowflies and maggots aren’t a problem.

“Maggots really aren’t something we often deal with at the funeral home — not to say we don’t,” she said.

Melissa has plenty of tricks for making a body look perfect in an open coffin, including using bits of wire hangers to hold the deceased's feet together

Melissa has plenty of tricks for making a body look perfect in an open casket, including using bits of wire hangers to hold the deceased's feet together

Melissa has plenty of tricks for making a body look perfect in an open casket, including using bits of wire hangers to hold the deceased’s feet together

She also pointed out how clothes fall awkwardly over a body in a coffin

She also pointed out how clothes fall awkwardly over a body in a coffin

Melissa puts the newspaper under the pants or skirt of the deceased to solve the problem

Melissa puts the newspaper under the pants or skirt of the deceased to solve the problem

Melissa puts the newspaper under the pants or skirt of the deceased to solve the problem

Maggots drive most people crazy, but Melissa was quick to list their benefits.

“Maggots are very important because they help to break down what is dead,” she noted. “Think of all the animals that die in the woods, you know?”

She added that maggots can be used to solve crimes and determine the estimated time of death.

Melissa has also revealed why many funeral homes have red lighting, explaining that the color was chosen for a reason.

Melissa also shared why she always carries lighter fluid in her cosmetic morgue case

Melissa also shared why she always carries lighter fluid in her cosmetic morgue case

Melissa also shared why she always carries lighter fluid in her cosmetic morgue case

Melissa explained that morgue cosmetics are

Melissa explained that morgue cosmetics are “often very thick,” which is great for covering bruises. But when she doesn’t need to, she uses lighter fluid to thin the makeup

‘Lighting in the funeral home is so important. Think about it. If you go to the club or the bar and they keep the lights dim, it’s because everyone looks better in the dark. And that’s why the lights in the funeral home are usually dimmed,” she said

‘When we embalm, we do use dyes. It usually has red or pink in it because when you’re dead your blood doesn’t flow so there’s no redness. That’s why we use redneck bulbs in our lighting. They soften the image, you know, it softens the room. You wouldn’t want to be under a ring light when you’re dead.

“Like, you have to remember that when you die, your skin, your color, everything starts to change. Embalming does so little,” she concluded.

‘There is a all kinds of things we do to make the deceased look their best – which is why many funeral homes have heavy curtains because they try to block out the light.’

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