Today we are discussing an instagram user that is both: 1) a science educator; and 2) a human pathologist. This comes with a rather obvious Content Notice: We are discussing a person who is granting a platform of education regarding death, bodies, and forensics. Their photographs feature human bodies in various states of decay and injury. Follow the links at your own risk.
I was the kid that was nose deep in pig dissections. It would take me a bit to warm up–formaldehyde has a very unique fragrance, and for a lot of people it screams of NOPE in every nerve in their body. But if you can adjust and get used to it, like I did, perhaps your curiosity about anatomy can overcome the squick factor. One of my items on my bucket list is to dissect a human body that’s been donated to science, but alas, between being broke-ass and probably lacking the discipline for medical school, I doubt it’s going to happen.
Over on Instagram, a user by the name of mrs_angemi is taking it to a whole new level, giving me the chance to do it vicariously. She’s not just signal boosting anatomy, she’s signal boosting how anatomy changes as it decays, suffers injury, or undergoes preservation.
According to motherboard, her photographs are frequent targets for reporting on Instagram:
While @mrs_angemi has racked up more than 100,000 followers as of this writing, not everyone shares in her passionate mission to shed light on the postmortem world. Angemi faces constant anxiety over infringing on Instagram’s posting guidelines. She’s had countless photos “reported” by the Instagram community for reasons that have gone unexplained. Three of her accounts have unexpectedly shut down over the course of the year.
The photos are edited, but to eliminate identifying features where they exist, thus the primary ethical issue that I might raise has been mitigated–sharing educational content of bodies that did not consent (in life) to be used as educational material. That might account for at least some of the reports. I’m positive that the reports which didn’t have to do with ethics had to do with being grossed out.
I will say this: the actual instagram account has no content notices, and I do generally believe in politely giving users a heads-up on what your page is about. Not everyone who can stomach this stuff will be able to, 100% of the time, and a couple minutes to prepare oneself might be the difference between learning something and puking in the toilet. So I do think her page should have a pop-up to give people the chance to decline, should they stumble upon her page through something that doesn’t warn them instead.
Not the medical community, though, who apparently had this to say:
Peers in the medical world are also gunning for her Instagram account. Angemi’s pathologic documentation may strike most of her followers as a worthwhile medical contribution to an otherwise vapid social media landscape, but she said some health professionals believe that the photos and videos of autopsies and dissections she shares should be kept within the confines of academia and medicine, away from the general public.
Ah yes, the same general public that can’t access academia or medicine because they’re gatekept with ludicrous debts and tuition fees? Assuming people actually said this, those people are classist fucktards.
I’ve always been curious about this sort of stuff–I don’t think I deserve to be denied access to it simply because I hit 25k for a student debt and decided I had dug myself a deep enough hole. Fuck me, I can’t imagine being an American and having a debt 10x higher than that. (Still paying that sucker off, btw…)
Stay curious & hopefully not nauseated,