“Shit, for some, has had curative or life-extending properties. Martin Luther is reputed to have swallowed a spoonful of his own every day. Laporte writes that an 18th-century woman explicitly hired a young man to divest himself of his shit every night so that she might spread it on her face. That was apparently the secret to her astonishingly youthful appearance, which supposedly lasted her lifetime. The story might well be apocryphal—and the young man’s services may well have extended far beyond shitting, in a society where smearing shit on one’s face was less scandalous than fucking the help—but the existence of such stories reveals a lot about our complicated and contradictory relationship to our own waste material.”

– At The Awl, Yasmin Nair discusses something we’re not always comfortable discussing. See more stories from The Awl.


Photo by: Sharon Mollerus

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