7 Weird Mermaid Rules That Come With Being A Mermaid, Because That Seashell Bra Comes at a Price
Maybe it's the dawn of summer or the sudden surge of long, pastel mermaid hair clogging our Pinterest boards, but it feels like mermaids are having a moment right now. Being a regular human being just doesn't have the same allure as being a gorgeous seas-dweller, you know? It's weird, then, that every mermaid movie seems to be about them ditching their fins to be where the people are... probably because all of the restrictive rules that come with being a mermaid.
That's right, kids, there's a price on all those lobster sidekicks and sea shell bras. If pop culture has told me anything, being a mermaid means being a slave to the sea. Overbearing fathers and supernatural forces tend to dictate how much fun you can have, and collectively, they accumulate to a slew of inconveniences. Considering you're already stuck with the whole lack of a vagina thing, I'd argue that said list of inconveniences maaaay not be worth it all.
But what exactly are the bizarre commandments of mermaid hood? Well, flipping through some of my favorite mermaid flicks like The Little Mermaid, Splash! and Aquamarine, I've collected an abridged list. Before you make any transactions with sea witches, be mindful of the following rules.
1. The term "just add water" is applicable when it comes to your fins, so good luck keeping it cool at the swim club.
In Splash! mermaid Madison has the convenient ability to manifest legs when she gets on the sand, but once you get her in water? Bye-bye, feet. So long, useful ability to walk around. Not only can that get super annoying, but god forbid someone spills a glass on you during a date. CHAOS AND DISCORD.
2. There's kind of a time limit on love, and suffice to say, stakes are high.
Every mermaid seems to encounter this, with perpetual fav Ariel only allowing legs with true love's first kiss, and Madison only allowing "six fulfilled days" before she has to peace out. But Aquamarine, bless her heart, tries to make a guy fall for her in three days, which is pretty adorable and fairly sad, simultaneously.
3. Patriarchal forces aren't limited to dry land.
You may be able to eventually change your father's mind, but for the most part, your vengeful and powerful father is gonna try to keep you from embracing some semblance of freedom... just like regular dads! Oh, and good luck on trying to get by without a chaperone.
4. Sometimes you're gifted with the occasional magical talent, but it seems more troublesome than not.
Applicable across the board, but special props to Aquamarine who is able to grant wishes... if she's able to prove to her father that she can find previously mentioned love. While this sounds like a shrewd bargain, it seems to be more of a conditional skill, and it doesn't help that Aquamarine enlists two 13-year-old girls to find her a boyfriend. Because let's be real, if there's anyone who knows nothing about real love, it's 13-year-old girls.
5. It's your responsibility to take care of inferior men.
You're just minding your own business, trying to be a strong, independent mer-woman, and men have the nerve to get shipwrecked all around you. It's a nuisance, but who else is going to keep our oceans clean?
6. Dishonesty is the best policy.
If you're really big on deceiving everyone you love in your efforts to win love, independence, or whatever's your poison, you may just have what it takes!
7. You can have a voice or a vagina, but not both.
OK, Aquamarine has both and Madison learns to talk, but Ariel proves solidly that this is not a metaphor. While it's cool to party with the fishes, sea-life has some major downgrades, and oppressed mermaids have to sell their voices in order to break free of those limitations.
Incidentally, Belle is my favorite Disney princess.
Images: Walt Disney Pictures; Giphy (7)