Unlike The Little Mermaid, some Seattle residents don’t need convincing that life is better under the sea.
Ed Brown, Caitlin Nielsen, and Tessie LaMourea are part of Seattle’s growing “mer” community - people who feel more at home in their prosthetic silicone tails than on their two feet.
“It’s a little bit of lifestyle for me because I live on a boat. I always like to be around the water. I think it can be like a hobby and passion and a way of life for a lot of people,” said Ed Brown, whose mer name is “Mahtlinnie.”
Brown said that wearing his tail has given him a confidence he hasn’t found in everyday life.
“I feel like it’s a lot easier to talk to people. If I’m in street clothes and out on the town, I don’t really like when people talk to me I get really nervous but when I’m in my tail it’s a lot easier to talk to people,” he said.
Other members of the mer community have completely embodied being a mer person as a lifestyle.
Nielsen, whose mer name is “Cyanea,” said she quit her day job to become a fulltime mermaid. She makes prosthetic silicone tails in her home office. Some take a year to make.
“When I was in kindergarten and the teacher went around and asked everyone what they would like to be when they grew up, I said, 'A mermaid.' Everyone laughed at me and now here I am, I am a mermaid,” Nielsen said.
Nielsen said she’s always been different, so having a group that shares her lifestyle is amazing.
“I have always been kind of an outsider, a loner, and little bit eccentric, so discovering there was a mermaid community ... was really freeing. I do feel like I am showing my true self to the world,” she said.