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.
Rachel’s big brown eyes and beautiful smile played a big part in her victory, but judges said they picker her over other contestants for her lust for life, as well. Apparently, her short description of herself really impressed them. The newly-crowned Miss Farewell greed with their decision, saying that “beauty is always about maturity and character, I wouldn’t have anything to do with Miss Baden Württemberg.”
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.”
Rachel Merks’ husband Stefan was delighted about his wife being crowned Miss Farewell. “I often tell my wife how beautiful she is,” he said, grinning. “Now finally she believes me.”