The beauty of a woman is only skin-deep. If men could only see what is beneath the flesh and penetrate below the surface with eyes like the Boetian lynx, they would be nauseated just to look at women, for all this feminine charm is nothing but phlegm, blood, humours, gall. Just imagine all that is hidden in nostrils, throat and stomach… We are all repelled to touch vomit and ordure even with our fingertips. How then can we ever want to embrace what is merely a sack of rottenness?Image from Anatomical Theatre Exhibition; Caption: "The Slashed Beauty," La Specola (Museo di Storia Naturale), Wax model with human hair in rosewood and Venetian Glass case; Probably modeled by Clemente Susini (around 1790), Florence, Italy;" click here to see full exhibition. Text via Jenny Hood. To find out more about Marina Warner's wonderful book Phantamagoria, click here.
--Abbot Odo of Cluny, 10th Century, as found in Marina Warner's Phantasmagoria