Friday, July 20, 2012

Trendy Mermaids

If you're part of the mermaid community and haven't heard about this, then you must have been living under a rock or had kelp in your ears. A couple days ago, there was Huffington Post report that mermaid tails were the new summer trend, showcasing a Vancouver company called 3 Fins

Here's the post that started it:

The CBC here in Vancouver picked it up as well:

And Gobal news had a little piece on Mermaiding on their noon news hour. My mum caught it while my brother was at a doctor's appointment. She said it was well done and focused on water safety.

What's been happening in the Mermaid Community over this so-called 'mermaid trend' is absolutely astonishing to me, and not at all in the good way.

Now, some of the concerns I do feel are valid. The big 'what if' going around right now is if someone puts on a tail who is not ready and drowns. Mers are concerned the community will be blamed and that fin swimming will be banned at public pools. My answer is simply this: someone who is a very poor swimmer will never voluntarily strap their legs together. Russ used to be a very poor swimmer and even the thought of his face being wet made him not want to go in the water. The fear of water and drowning is very strong in people who cannot swim or swim poorly. They're not going to put on tails. However, I understand the concern and as always, I am a stickler for water safety and swimming ability. If you cannot do your four basic strokes well, or tread water - you have no business trying to swim in a mermaid tail yet. Keyword: yet.

However, the more concerning trend in the Mermaid Community is the fact that now some of us are feeling like mermaiding is going to become mainstream. Apparently, every little girl and boy and teen and adult are going to be throwing on mermaid tails and making it less special for the people who have been mermaids forever.

I find this attitude very distasteful.

I became a mermaid after I saw Lady Gaga perform in one of the Mertailor's black tails, and got full blown obsessed when I saw Yuyi. I would love a Yuyi tail. The day I found MerNetwork, there was a post made about how Lady Gaga inspired mermaids were going to ruin it for people trying to be professional mermaids; that I was making mermaiding too 'mainstream'. It made me feel terrible, until I decided I liked mermaiding and what it meant to me, and stopped caring about that particular mer and her opinions. Hooray for the ignore button!

Well, this attitude is happening again. I have seen more than one mermaid say how this new summer trend is going to ruin our community and make their lifestyle less meaningful. They've gone as far as classifying themselves as 'non-mainstream' mers because they view mermaiding as a lifestyle, and 'mainstream' mers as girls who just want to play dress-up. They talk down the girl or boy who just wants to wear a tail, saying that it means less and it makes mermaiding mean less.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Sounds like the same arguments people made when women got the right to vote and blacks were granted their freedom. Hell, it sounds the same as the argument being made against gay marriage.

That someone else is going to come in and make what we have less meaningful and that is wrong somehow.


We shouldn't be shunning these new people to our community. We should be embracing it, and welcoming them into the sport and world we so love. We are leaders and mentors, not elitist snobs who look down upon others. So what if they only stay with us a year? One of those trendy mers will experience the epiphany that binds mermaids together; he or she will connect in some way with mermaids, or the ocean, or cetaceans, or something completely different! That weird girl who's always wanted a mermaid tail will have a safe place. 'Trendy' mers are not a threat to anyone in the mermaid community. People and mermaids are like the tide, we come and we go.

We are all mermaids, no matter how long we've been doing it or what it means to us personally. We put on pretend mermaid tails. We're all a little weird. Who are we to look down on anyone else who wants to be like one of us?

I leave you with a sarcastic remark from Hipster Bjossa:

Thursday, July 19, 2012


So, there has been a ton happening lately in the life of Mermaid Bjossa.

This past Christmas my dear brother gave me a competitor monofin, and my mum soon after made me a green sea dragon inspired tail to go with. I've been swimming in them both and very much enjoying it! In fact, the green tail had to get a facelift due to wear and tear on the fluke. The Competitor has some sharp points on it!

I recently ordered a realistic latex tail from Mermaid Parties. Fingers crossed it will arrive tomorrow, so I can paint it! I'll be at the BC Renaissance Festival with Mermaid Oceana this weekend, and I needed a more realistic tail than the ones my Mum has so graciously sewn. I have more fabric tails in the mix, but I did want a more realistic tail for photoshoots.

The problem was...I had no top to go with! This is where I get crafty. I read a bunch a tutorials online and turned a normal self-adhesive bra from this:

Into this:

Hopefully I'll have some good snaps from this weekend to share with you.

I have lots more to say - I have yet another top I'm working on. Something very patriotic. I also have a mouthful to say on the topic of mermaid tails being this summer's 'trend' at the beach...and I'm organizing not one but two meet-ups in Seattle for other Mers.

Very exciting! Hang in there, I promise I will be updating more in the future as I continue to find my fins.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Recent achievements

I knew in the back of my mind that keeping on top of a blog would be hard for me. Sometimes I feel like I'm being pulled every direction. I'm busy at work. I have to cook when I get home. Or I go to the gym and pump some iron so I can look better in my tail and be healthier.

Nothing like vanity to inspire you!

Then I have to take care of my house, clean, do laundry...all mundane tasks. And when I do get a little time to myself, I usually spend it playing video games.

Recently I did something that I think is amazing. One of my best girls is getting married this September, and so myself and some of the other bridesmaids are trying to fit for the wedding. On November 12, the bride, another bridesmaid and myself all ran a 5 km.

Now, I have something called tendonopathy in my knees. My chiropractor is treating it, but under no circumstances am I allowed to run. So my girls took off while I power walked. We ran around the path by the ocean. It was bitter cold and raining.

It was amazing.

As I walked, hands tingling and feet soaking from the wet and cold, I could hear the gentle lap of the ocean. The fog over the inlet was gorgeous as it blurred the lights from the cargo ships. I wondered how awfully cold it would be to dive into that water and swim in a tail, and was a bit thankful I was walking!

The runners were beautiful as well. We all had headlamps on, and they made a trail of bobbing lights as we ran; it was so moving to see the dedication of everyone participating and hearing my footfalls with theirs.

I also thought about my Uncle Bob as well. My Uncle Bob was an amazing man who loved the outdoors. He was an accomplished skier and loved packing around the back country. In June last year, Mount Hood in Oregon claimed him as its own. It was a terrible tragedy for my family and often, when I am appreciating the beauty of nature, I think of him and remember how proud he would be of me.

I finished in 46 and a half minutes, a personal best for me.

I am proud of myself and my girls today.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Reflections on Europe

I have returned from Europe. I must say, the whole trip went pretty tickety-boo.

No hiccups or experiences and miraculously, no fights with my in-laws!

For those who get along with their in-laws most of the time, I envy you.

So, Geneva was pretty cool. Sadly, since CERN was actively doing experiments, we could not go in and see the LHC. But that was okay. We went to the interactive center, and Mut, my brother-in-law, explained some of the things he does at CERN...which is smash particles together and see what comes out. I'm sure that is way simplified.

Also, did you hear that CERN found neutrinos that travelled faster than the speed of light?

Oh Yeah.

We also visited a huge old Cathedral; they'd excavated the old cathedral underneath, dating back to the 8th century. They have a whole interactive walk underneath. Sadly I was a bit sick that day and we have to call it short, but it was pretty tops.

Next we jetting to Nottingham to visit my second brother-in-law, Butter. Butter is going to university there to become a doctor, and hopefully he'll graduate next year. We rested the first day, shopped the second (where I got an adorable dress) and then visited the Galleries of Justice - an old jail and dungeon dating back to the Victorian period. I would not wanted to be a criminal back then, it was terrible and inhumane. But oh-so informative to see how crime, punishment and justice has evolved.

After Notts we headed to Russ' hometown to visit his folks for a day before we headed to Manchester to fly home. I got to do more shopping, and we got to have nice chats with his folks. It was a really good time.

Flying home was...well. Flying home. We paid for exit-row seats because of my freakishly long legs, but the seats were extra-narrow. Sigh. So instead I got squeezy hip pain. Woo.

I got my Mum's photos, so as promised...Sea Shepherds!

The Steve Irwin on the Thames

Not the best pic but hey! The Steve Irwin was moving fast!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I see London, I see France...

Today Russ and I left Paris and my parents and headed to Geneva, Switzerland to spend some time with Mut, my brother in law. The great thing about Russ being British is that he has family all over Europe, which means we get a free place to sleep at night and guided tours! Score!

I also get to see my extended family. That's why we came...not for the free bed.

Right? Right.

Anyway. France.

Oh France. France is one crazy, cool place.

France welcomed us with a man singing on the Metro at the top of his lungs. I don't speak a lick of French, so I have no idea what he was singing about, but other people on the train eventually started yelling back at him.

In the middle bits we happened to see and go up the Eiffel Tower, take a boat tour, a bus tour and a Segway tour, which was completely rad. We also went to Versailles and saw the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa. Pretty freaking awesome.

I ate a croissant for breakfast every morning. Don't tell the personal trainer.

I also saw lots (okay 2) of French underpants. One on a girl lying in the grass and her dress hiked up a bit too high, which happens to the lady folks sometimes...but the other was an unfortunate saggy man who was dressing at his window and I had the misfortune of looking up at the wrong time.

What can be seen cannot be unseen.

My poor, sweet eyes.

Something to note about France, and really mainland Europe in general. There is no negative stigma when it comes to smoking cigarettes. Everyone smokes. Coming from a smoking-negative culture, I found it very surprising and a bit sad...and a bit smelly, of course!

France said goodbye to us with a pushy beggar coming on our train to Geneva, who thought I was going to give him something since I looked at him. In truth, he was sitting next to our
backpack and I was making sure he wasn't going to try and thieve anything.

All in all, I enjoyed Paris. We were right smack in the middle of the city, and I loved seeing the Eiffel Tower. Definitely the highlight of France for me.

Now it's time to prep for Geneva and visiting the particle collider at CERN. I love having a family member that can give us a closer look!

I will, however leave you with the beauty of the Eiffel, though no picture does it justice.