Becoming a mermaid is traditionally the stuff of little girls’ dreams. But in the US, that dream is ever more a reality, with close to 1,000 professional mermaids and mermen working full-time in the field.
Being a mythical aquatic creature is now a full time job for entertainers, trainers, and designers as the industry is boosted by popular demand, Fast Company reports.
Rachel Smith, head of mermaid at Dive Bar (a mermaid theme lounge), in Sacramento, told Fast Company that the mermaids swim with their legs tied together, in tails that can weigh up to 35 pounds. The tails then contain another five to 10 pounds to stop the mermaids floating to the surface.
"It’s really hard, which is something I don't think people fully understand, because we want it to look so effortless," Smith said.
Mermaids are hired for birthdays parties, and not just for children children. Model and freediver Linden Wolbert is a ‘mermaid to the stars’ and has been hired by celebrities such as Jessica Alba, Justin Timberlake or Shia LaBeouf. She also offers her service to charities such as the Make a Wish Foundation, and can command around $250 for a children’s event.
Fish tail companies are also keeping the dream alive, according to Fast Company, Fin Fun, one of the largest brands on the market, is selling 50,000 tails a month for $100 a pop, while Mertailor can create elaborate custom-made tails for professional mermaids in a matter of days.
Mermaid trainers gone into business to teach new recruits. Accolytes say swimming with your legs bound is good for the core, strengthens abs and improves breathing. An International Mermaid Swimming Instructor’s Association, established in 2013, on the island of Boracay in the Philippines, has a list of instructors and schools.
Sirenas Mediterranean Academy in Tarragona, Spain, teaches mortals how to transform into mythical creatures since 2014. The first mermaid school in the UK is called FreeDive. Based in Cornwall, the company specialises in freediving courses, where participants learn to hold their breath deep underwater, rather than using an oxygen tank to breathe.
Next time a child confesses of dreaming about living under the sea, you might have to take them seriously.Reuse content