Most people would think that mermaids only reside in children’s movies and TV shows, with Ariel’s iconic green tail and purple shell bikini springing to mind.
But speaking to 9news.com.au, a group of adult mermaids are working to change the mindset of beach-loving Australians, encouraging more people to get in shape and take up the hobby of swimming that is trending around the world. this summer.
The term “mermaid” refers to the practice of wearing, and often swimming, in a mermaid tail costume.
The practice is very popular in the UK and US, although Australia has been slower to dip into the swimming trend.
Getting into a glamorous queue and taking a dip at the beach has now become a must-see ritual for Metzler, a hobby she cannot imagine her life without.
“Before I was walking and I was in so much pain,” he said.
“Every day I could only walk 10 minutes a day. It was so painful to even go to the supermarket.
“So I started making mermaids … it has been super amazing for my recovery.
“I think my life has changed.”
The group of mermaids meet regularly most weekends for “mermaid beach sessions”, where they get in line and jump into the ocean.
The pack is also involved in ocean conservation, volunteering to pick up trash at beach cleanups.
There is also a mermaid convention that takes place twice a year called Mermeet, where mermaids from all over the country gather to go swimming and participate in hair and makeup activities.
Mermaid Sinead Rochford, who works as a therapist, said that being a mermaid is about promoting self-esteem, increasing self-esteem and fostering positivity.
The practice is also a vigorous exercise for abs and strength.
“Our plan is to work with as many people as possible, building a community where people can come out of their shells and build on self-love,” he said.
“People are so stuck in their heads every day, especially with the pressure of this year with COVID.
“Breathing deeply, diving freely and being in the water is such a healing space. You feel so good, it’s great for anxiety and depression.”
Ms. Rochford took the plunge and bought her first mermaid tail online in 2016 after swimming with a monofin for a few years.
However, her love for mermaids grew out of a childhood fantasy, which later led to her working at children’s mermaid parties later in life.
“That mermaid dream has always been on my mind and I thought how great it would be to try,” he said.
She admitted that while most people reacted with surprise to see her and her clan of mermaids on the beach, most were very supportive.
“People love when they see us on the beach,” he said.
“At first the adults are a bit confused but then you see their faces light up.
“Their smiles cross their faces. It awakens memories of when I was a child.”
Most surprisingly, putting on a tail is not as difficult as you might expect, and Ms. Rochford compared it to “putting on a pair of socks.”
“It’s not that difficult, we sit on the edge of the pool and we just open it while we sit,” he said.
Ms. Rochford said that “merfolk” also had their own special powers, hers was hypnotherapy, while others adopted talents in other fields.
“They are mermaids on the weekend for fun, but they are all talented at what they do every day,” he said.
“This is the beginning of something really great: Mermaids are growing up in Sydney.”