Craig Brown on how mermaids are back in fashion


Students of Katie Price’s quite a few autobiographies will little question keep in mind an explosive second in her second quantity, A Whole New World (2006).

It was Katie’s wedding ceremony day — her first — and someway it had all gone mistaken. Her wedding ceremony skirt had dug into her pores and skin, leaving her ‘scratched and bruised’. Also, her corset prime had been laced too tightly, inflicting her ache.

Her neck, too, ‘was really hurting from where I’d needed to maintain bending it, with the load of the crown, to double kiss all my visitors’.

Furthermore, two friends had collapsed on the dance flooring, so a few ambulances needed to be summoned.

She had additionally ‘hated every single minute’ of being photographed in her finery for OK! Magazine.

In Being Jordan (2004), Katie Price revealed that in the Fifties her Nan had worked on Hastings pier as a topless mermaid

In Being Jordan (2004), Katie Price revealed that in the Fifties her Nan had worked on Hastings pier as a topless mermaid

In Being Jordan (2004), Katie Price revealed that in the Fifties her Nan had labored on Hastings pier as a topless mermaid

‘Feeling drained,’ Katie went and sat by her grandmother, who, sadly, was not in the perfect of moods. ‘She moaned to me, saying she was appalled about where she had been sitting.’

For Katie, this was the final straw: “Thanks a lot, Nan. Now you’re ruining my day as well!” I stated.’

Yet Katie’s Nan ought to be remembered not just for her crotchety outburst. In her day, she had been virtually as glamorous as her granddaughter.

In Being Jordan (2004), Katie revealed that in the Fifties her Nan had labored on Hastings pier as a topless mermaid.

Nan, it transpired had been employed to pose in a fishy tail behind two sheets of glass containing water and bubbles ‘with only her long red hair to preserve her modesty’.

Alas, Nan was caught smoking. This destroyed the phantasm of being underwater, so she was given her marching orders, if mermaids may be given marching orders.

I used to be reminded of Katie Price’s Nan whereas studying reviews that being a mermaid is the newest craze to comb the world.

After a lull of 60-odd years, mermaids are back in fashion, with an International Mermaid Swimming Instructors Association, a Merfolk Convention and an annual Miss Mermaid pageant.

Both Bournemouth and Manchester have mermaid academies. Meanwhile, the Hire-a-Mermaid company has 20 semi-professional mermaids on its books, able to grace events for a payment of as much as £400. Do they carry their very own paddling swimming pools, or do they merely sit in the kitchen sink? We are not informed.

Bournemouth and Manchester have mermaid academies while the Hire-a-Mermaid agency has 20 mermaids on its books. Pictured: Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, Denmark

Bournemouth and Manchester have mermaid academies while the Hire-a-Mermaid agency has 20 mermaids on its books. Pictured: Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, Denmark

Bournemouth and Manchester have mermaid academies whereas the Hire-a-Mermaid company has 20 mermaids on its books. Pictured: Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, Denmark

It’s all a far cry from Super-Balls, Krazy Foam and Gonks, which have been all the fad once I was a toddler. It’s onerous to see why any of those crazes caught on, however more durable nonetheless to fathom the attraction of mermaidism.

‘For me it’s the sense of freedom and escapism capturing that essence of magic,’ says Jessica Pennington, 27, who discovered how to be a mermaid in Cornwall final yr.

‘You don’t should face the stresses of on a regular basis life when you’re a part of the mer-world.’

But what might be extra annoying than having to reside as half-a-fish? And it’s not even the correct half. Given the selection, I’d have a fish’s head and torso, and two human legs, however I concede this can be a matter open to debate. Inevitably, there’s already speak of a ‘merfolk community’.

For the time being, Jessica Pennington insists that it’s ‘one of the most loving and supporting communities I’ve ever come throughout’.

After a lull of 60-odd years, mermaids are back in fashion, with an International Mermaid Swimming Instructors Association, a Merfolk Convention and a Miss Mermaid pageant

After a lull of 60-odd years, mermaids are back in fashion, with an International Mermaid Swimming Instructors Association, a Merfolk Convention and a Miss Mermaid pageant

After a lull of 60-odd years, mermaids are back in fashion, with an International Mermaid Swimming Instructors Association, a Merfolk Convention and a Miss Mermaid pageant

But in no time the bossy-boots will take over. No doubt there’ll quickly be strident merfolk representatives sounding off on BBC Question Time or flaunting their scales and complaining of backbiting on Celebrity Big Brother.

She doesn’t say what the merfolk do once they get collectively. I think about they collect in shoals, look vacant and blow bubbles.

Let’s hope they take care to keep away from stray worms or brightly-coloured flies dangling from tell-tale items of string.

Nor does she make it clear how lengthy it takes to transition to full mermaid standing.

Before you flip right into a fully-fledged mermaid you presumably need to get the texture for all times as a fish. This should contain spending hours hanging round in plastic luggage at funfairs, or mendacity down in newspapers, soaked in vinegar and surrounded by chips.

What begins off as a dream turns swiftly to a nightmare.

Personally, I’d be horrified to note that my spouse had began rising scales and making sucky noises. Small marvel that Katie Price’s Nan was pushed to cigarettes.

She’s higher off out of it. 



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