Mermaids officially don’t exist, at least according to a recent post from the National Ocean Service. But this summer these beautiful, mythical creatures are very in and may even be found at your local pool or beach.
After seeing how much her three daughters loved everything about these sirens of the sea, Vancouver mom Monika Naumann started designing mermaid tails, called 3-Fins, this past January. Made out of bathing suit material, the “leg” comes in iridescent jewel tones, including blue, orange, red, green and pink. She fashions the fin from regular flippers, and the whole get-up takes about three days to make.
Ariel-wannabes can expect to pay about $245 plus shipping (3-fins.com), and the high price has hardly put off prospective mermaids. Naumann, 42, sells mostly to young girls in the U.S. and Canada, but has shipped her fins as far as Norway. She answers regular inquiries from Australia and Europe, although these farther flung customers are ultimately put off by the high cost of shipping, which can run to well over $100.
“Parents who have ordered the fins for their girls almost always write and tell me how much they love it,” Naumann told TODAY.com. “But mermaid fins aren’t just for kids. They help you get a great workout and can have you swimming faster than you can imagine in the ocean.”
For people who are already comfortable in the water, swimming with the tail is easy after a little practice, and isn't that much different from swimming with regular flippers, although it can take a few tries for new mermaids to get used to walking out of the water in the tight tail, according to Naumann. Just to be safe, Naumann won't sell to anyone under the age of seven and advises parents that wearers should be competent swimmers.
Naumann isn't the only mermaid-tail designer on the market. Australia-based Oceanika MerFins also started selling their flippers to eager little mermaids this year. The fins are made from eco-friendly material and can be bought together with matching swim tights and bikini (prices start at $91, oceanikamerfins.com). Swimming with the fin, which works just like flippers except that it has one piece instead of two, should be comfortable from the outset, according to the company. Since the online store opened, the fins have been ordered by customers located in 18 countries around the world.
“As mermaid legends are embedded in so many cultures all over the world, the MerFins seem to speak to many different types of people,” designer and clean-ocean campaigner Kazzie Mahina, who regularly swims dressed as a mermaid, told TODAY.com. "We have had such a high demand to do larger sizes for women and men that I now have designs ready in the wings, along with a boys/men's range of dolphin and whale tails."
Even if you aren’t quite up for dressing up like a Disney princess at the pool this summer, it's easy to make a splash with the aqua-inspired trend. Try Deborah Lippmann’s Mermaid's Dream nail polish, a shimmery sea foam green with tiny specks of darker blue glitter ($18, deborahlippmann.com).
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Rachel Elbaum is a London-based writer who would gladly swim like a mermaid.