Creepy Things You Can Buy On Etsy

Sometimes when my friends and I are on the internet and have reached the level of internet boredom where we seriously contemplate googling “Charlie bit my finger” or taking half an hour to write a satirical Craigslist missed connections ad titled something like, “I swear to god, Carl, if you don’t give back the electric juicer you stole from me I will slash your tires and kidnap your puppy!”, we go on Etsy.com and compete to try to find the most ridiculous “one-of-a-kind” pieces of “conceptual clothing.” I highly recommend doing this. Some of my greatest hits have been items returned when I entered search terms like, “cat pants,” “pizza pants,” and “Italian food mask.” You can literally buy ceramic masks that look like they are made out of Italian food.

About a week ago, I was tired of searching for stuff like “atomic bomb skirt” and “Carl Sagan bedspread” so I started typing, “human” into the search box. The auto-complete function gave me a number of (frighteningly) popular options to choose from that I assumed lead to items made of human body parts. I clicked on the first one that said “human hair.” Most of the items that were returned were “hair extensions” made of human hair.

Until I did this search, I thought that hair extensions were only something that were “weaved” semi-permanently into your hair at salons. Apparently there are little locks of either synthetic or real-deal hair that come in a variety of colors with a clip on one end and are also called “hair extensions.” I’m guessing that the appeal of this is that you can get the look of having unnaturally-colored hair without having to actually commit to having unnaturally-colored hair for a long period of time. I’m willing to bet that teen girls who listen to second wave emo pop bands and want to have neon colored hair (but whose parents won’t let them dye it) make up most of the market for these products.

I get all sorts of weird vibes from the idea that all these clip-on hair extensions are made from actual human hair that was once attached to an actual human’s head. There’s one store that has a virtual monopoly on the Etsy.com market for clip-on hair extensions called, “NeontasticSplash.” From the sheer number of their listings, I can conclude that this isn’t just some broke art major DIY-enthusiast lady from San Francisco who decided one day that she was going to sell her hair clippings on Etsy; this is an actual company that sells hair on Etsy. This means that somewhere out there in the world, hundreds of people are cutting their hair off and willingly supplying it to be sold as hair extensions. I have a hard time trying to empathize with the person who sells their hair to a company to be processed and sold to tweens. I also get all sorts of weird vibes from the idea that somewhere in the world is a guy whose job is to unbox / unbag this human hair and then straighten and dye it to be sold on the internet.

After a lot of pondering the ethics of the industry behind the sale of human hair extensions, I typed, “human” again into the search box, this time clicking the result for “human bone.” There were fewer results for items that involved real human bone than for those that involved real human hair, which is good, I guess. However, items returned on this search registered way higher on the “this is concerning” scale than those on my search for items containing human hair.

The first result that contained actual human bones was a bracelet that had a little pendant of human bone in the middle. The bracelet actually looked pretty cool and well-made. If the maker hadn’t said it was human bone, it would have just looked like a translucent off-white rock. The seller is from The Netherlands. Maybe grave-digging / killing people for jewelry isn’t frowned-upon there.

The second thing I found made out of human bone was a bracelet that was mostly a human finger bone. The crafter was from Portland (go figure) and gave this as a part of the description, “This was part of a medical skeleton that had seen much better days and was not treated well in its medical facility.”—which I guess makes it a little bit more acceptable. However, if you bought it, you would still be wearing a piece of a dead human on your wrist.

The third item I found was a necklace with a piece of bone on the end. It looked pretty entry-level. The crafter failed to describe where they got the bone from, which is a little concerning, seeing how they’re from Texas. Isn’t it like completely legal 92% of the time to kill people in Texas?

Most of the results that contained real bones were artificial replicas, except for the last three I described (and also a crapload of listings for “tooth rings”). There was, however, one outlier: a piece called, “her roses: human arm articulation with real human bones and dried roses”—which is basically a big piece of wood mounted with human bones clutching a bouquet of dried roses, “stingray stingers” and “birch twigs with fairy’s-cup fungus,” all of this held together with black cloth and what looks a lot like a plastic grocery bag.

The blog “craftastrophe” plugged the “bones and roses” thing in a post about a week ago, and the crafter seems pretty flattered by it, considering that she linked to it in the item’s description. If you’re reading this, it’s probably still for sale, seeing as it’s priced at $1,700. I can kind of understand the high price, even though it doesn’t look that well-constructed, nobody can really know how much effort this lady from Portland (of course) had to put into actually obtaining the bones to make it.

I went and looked through Etsy’s “Terms of Use” and “Dos and Don’ts” policy pages and there doesn’t appear to be anything about not being allowed to sell human body parts on the site. Regardless of its acceptance on the site, it’s still freaking weird.

Note to future disposer(s) of my body:

Please do not turn me into jewelry. I also don’t care how close it is or even if I live there, please do not bury me anywhere near Portland, Oregon.

Thanks,

-Karim TC mark

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  • Hannah Simon

    You’ve seen this site, right? http://www.regretsy.com/

    • Tess Loree

      we use animal bones and animal fur for clothes and jewelry all the time. that doesn’t justify it as acceptable, but in my opinion it’s no more extreme to use human bones/hair than animals for fashion…

  • http://twitter.com/GFreeJanelle Janelle

    Regretsy.com is all I have to say. I’ve once seen a mask made out of chicken skin on there. 

  • Moragu

    Regretsy is the bomb.  For a better understanding about the human hair extension thing I would recommend watching Good Hair a doc by Chris Rock.  It was very enlightening.  Basically most of the hair comes from India where they are religiously prescribed to shave all their hair off at least once as an offering to the gods.  It was never that clear to me if the temple then sold or if the hair was picked up by the third party then sold.  Anyway, check out Helen Killer and the movie. :)

  • http://vista-cruiser.tumblr.com jack

    hey weird i heard about this site called http://www.regretsy.com/
    its about wayne gretzky’s worst moments

  • Anonymous

    Much of the human hair for extensions in Europe comes from prisons where the female prisoners have had their heads shaved.  They don’t willingly sell it.

    • Karim Kazemi

      That’s a very interesting perspective that I have not yet heard. I am a young person and I am very reactionary and my life would be a lot less interesting if I researched things before jumping to conclusions. 

      Thanks for reading.

    • nicilaskin.etsy.com

       that is excuse my french bull

      • Anonymous

        Nope sorry, it’s really not.  I used to use human hair extensions a lot until I went to uni, where  a Russian friend told me how the hair is obtained.  I don’t know about America, which is why I said ‘in Europe’ not ‘the whole world’, but a lot of the companies here who want blonde and lighter coloured hair unethically source it from prisons.  Some of it is actually taken from psychiatric institutions and orphanages in Eastern Europe.  There’s tons of information about it, check it out if you don’t believe me.

  • Anonymous

    Idk bruh, feels like everyone is “ignoring the real issue.” There’s not really such a thing as “second wave emo pop,” though “emo” did kinda get poppy at certain points. (EX: Promise Ring) But in my “head,” this is what emo’s “wavvves” look like.  

    1st Wave emo = Rites of Spring to Cap’n Jazz
    2nd Wave emo = The Get Up Kids to Brand New/Taking Back Sunday
    3rd Wave emo = Fall-out Boy to BrokeNcyde 

    Jus’ sayin. 

    • Karim Kazemi

      I think that you’re not understanding that 3rd wave regular emo is actually the 1st wave of truly brandable / marketable emo pop. 

      2nd wave emo is also sometimes referred to as “straggler emo” and is comprised of people who must have fallen asleep for most of 2007 and awaken thinking that their brand is still “cutting edge” and “highly marketable”. Example: these guys http://www.billboard.com/photos/stylus/108997-black_veil_brides_617_409.jpg

      Thanks for reading, bruh.

  • Lindseycm

    have you seen the documentary “Good hair” by Chris Rock?  it devotes quite a bit of time to investigating the industry surrounding the sale of human hair for extensions.  And the primary customers are not tweens; they are African American women.

    • Karim Kazemi

      I will netflix this documentary.

      thanks for reading

    • Bunny

      Dude, white celebrities consume human hair in large quantities also, not just AA women

  • Tomato Queen

    How does one determine whether or not a medical skeleton is being “treated well”?  Did it complain?  

    • http://twitter.com/aluminiyum Soraya

      oh honey, med students are not as competent as they’d have you believe

  • Anonymous

    It’s completely legal to kill people in Texas. The 8% only pertains to fetuses.

    • Karim Kazemi

      Valentine, I like this witty remark you just made.

      I think we can all agree that Texas with their fixation with the legality of the death penalty and simultaneous conviction that they are going to try as hard as they can to make it so women can’t choose to get an abortion is ridiculous. 

      Thanks for reading.

  • http://twitter.com/bethanie_m Bethanie Marshall

    Why is the concept of human hair extensions creepy to you? It’s nothing new, and they are sold in wig shops, beauty supply shops, and your local Hot Topic. All lengths, all colors for your hair styling pleasure. The human bones thing can be considered creepy, but there tons of goth kids and adults out there that dig that stuff. To each their own.

  • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

    God that thing is just *SO UGLY*. 

    There used to be a lot of good creepy shit on eBay but they’re become quite good at nipping that shit in the bud.

  • Sarah H

    this is funny
    this is exactly what I want to read all the time

  • resonanteye

    love it. and love you guys.

    And the arm bones actually came from a store in LA, a medical/anatomy specimen seller, so the person who once owned the bones was buried nowhere near Portland.

    Nobody is safe.

    ~resonanteyes

  • Anonymous

    phlpn.es/7x9vmd

  • nicilaskin.etsy.com

    a lot of people actually use hum hair for wigs due to hair loss from cancer or extensions for covering up the hair loss from chemo,

    i say to each their own, live and let live and don’t be condescending and mean it is not good for digestion

  • Suebobdavis

    Thanks for the Craftastrophe shout-out. We feature a lot of weird stuff, but I can’t remember doing a human bones one before. Lots of animal parts, though – like squirrel-foot earrings. 

  • resonanteye

    here we go:

    http://resonanteye.net/2011/11/23/banned-on-etsy-her-roses/

    etsy banned this one. although all the other, ALL the other, human bones for sale have not been banned. I must be doing something right.

    • karim

      Bummer. I’d consider it to be an honor.

  • Danyad89

    Watch Chris Rock’s doc called “Good Hair”. The majority of real hair extensions come from India. The people who are sacrificing their hair don’t actually know whats being done with it.

    • Vargas

      I scrolled down to leave the exact same comment and saw yours! I LOVE “Good Hair!”

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