Purely by accident, I watched the David Beckham underwear commercial 47 times in a row.
I got nothin.
When I could breath again, I was fixated on this thought: The human body is an amazing thing.
The same revelation comes to me each time I see Christina Hendricks.
Um, girl crush.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe the species that produced David Beckham and Christina Hendricks, the class of mammals that inspired Michaelangelo’s David and the Venus de Milo, would also claim me. And yet here we are; however separated by the conventional definitions of beauty, still united by our bodies’ abilities to do some fairly disgusting stuff. Yes, even the pretty people might be concealing one of these horrendous conditions beneath their designer clothes.
1. Pilonidal Cyst
Generally–and thankfully–our bodies come equipped with the correct number of orifices and openings, each with its designated responsibilities. It’s all good. But occasionally the body
might decide to try out a new opening. Take, for example, the pilonidal cyst–a pus and goo filled sac that forms at the cleft of the buttocks. The pilonidal cyst sometimes bursts and drains, and sometimes must be excised by a doctor. Either way, the result is a spare hole in a place where nature already provided. Once a person has developed a pilonidal cyst, it is likely to recur–but apparently the experience is much less traumatic for men than for women, as is evidenced by the jaunty, cocky, hands-on-hips stance of the man in the illustration. This is a man who compares the size of his pilonidal cyst with others in the locker room.
2. Pincer Nails
One day your big toe thinks to itself, “Hey, you know what would be fun? It would be fun if my nail started to grow all curled up like a chocolate
shaving, only much, much grosser
.” And that’s how pincer nails begin. Actually, pincer nails can be genetic or acquired, but are equally disturbing no matter what the origin. Ugly and painful, this extreme form of the ingrown toenail can necessitate some drastic measures such as total nail removal, bracing (forcibly uncurling the nail, then fastening it to a metal brace), or creative home remedies like the one pictured below:
3. Dermoid Cyst
Let’s be clear: Any time your body grows something that can be refered to as a cyst, it’s just not going to be good
. This is especially true of the dermoid cyst, a teratoma that contains mature skin tissue, hair follicles, sweat glands, blood, and fat. The dermoid cyst is your body’s grab bag of nastiness, sometimes hiding long clumps of hair, nails, bone, teeth, even a random eyeball, for the love of all that’s good and holy
. What a cyst would
need to look at, I don’t know— but there you have it. The dermoid cyst is rarely malignant, which leaves it plenty of time to be creepy, foul, repulsive, and sickening.
4. Hydatidiform Mole
When a man and a woman love each other very, very much
, sometimes they want to make a baby as a way of sending their love forward into a new generation. And sometimes they make a hydatidiform mole instead. On rare occasions, the tissue that is meant to form a
placenta and carry nutrients to a fetus goes bat-shit crazy and morphs into a big, clumpy, mass that resembles a cluster of grapes in Tim Burton’s fruit bowl. This mass is known as a hydatidiform mole, or a molar pregnancy. Its other name is gestational trophoblastic disease
, which officially makes it the most disgustingly named disgusting thing your body can do. Ew. Just ew.
5. Prolapsed Uterus
Gravity is not a girl’s friend. Every girl grows up knowing that eventually gravity will commit aggravated rearrangement and redistribution
on her body; it’s a fact of life. So is it too much to expect that at least her uterus will stay put? Do I even need to explain the prolapsed uterus to you? I didn’t think so. But I’m guessing no one explained the prolapsed uterus to this woman, who one day looked down to see something hanging outside her body that used to be inside. Why, God, why?
6. Parasitic Twins
Conjoined twins are a rare phenomenon, occurring only once in every 50,000 to 100,ooo births. More common are parasitic twins, in which one of the
developing fetuses becomes dominant and grows normally, at the expense of the other–which ceases to thrive and becomes vestigial, or parasitic. The parasitic twin is incompletely formed and incapable of living without the autosite. A parasitic twin can present as extra arms or legs, an extra torso, even a second head. Not long ago a Chinese boy was born, whose parasitic twin was nothing more than a second penis growing on his back (Fact: This baby could be found by Googling the term Chinese two penis boy.
). About half of parasitic twins don’t survive, and years ago those who did were often displayed by sideshows as human oddities. Nowadays it’s possible to surgically separate parasitic twins, a procedure which was successfully performed on this little boy a year ago.
Famous parasitic twins: Mariah Carey’s breasts, Donatella Versace’s lips, Ashley and Mary Kate Olson.
Despite the fact that it can do some totally disgusting stuff, I stand by my observation that the human body is an amazing thing. So I’ll leave you the way we met— with pictures that prove my point:
Paul Newman, who would have been 87 this year, and Marilyn Monroe, who would have been 86.
Oh, and did you know that Marilyn supposedly was born with six toes on her left foot? Now, that’s disgusting.