I am examining the question of why there is an increasing demand for the dead body to look natural. I will argue that the dead body, in looking natural has inscribed upon it ideal images of the body and of society. Drawing on Kristeva's notion of the abject, I will show that the natural appearance of the body excludes defilement, filth and decay as it excludes illness and abnormality and re-enacts the origins of self and society. I will examine Baudrillard's thesis that the "naturalness" of the corpse in the funeral home realises a split between the living and the dead. For Baudrillard, it embodies an apparent triumph of a system of semiotic over symbolic exchange in present day Western societies although the symbolic can never be completely excluded. I will demonstrate that in comparing the Irish funeral home and traditional funeral practices, that Baudrillardian division of the semiotic, from the symbolic is not absolute.