Mermaid meet attracts people from all ‘swims’ of life
MANASSAS, Virginia — Tresses swirled and fins shimmered as thousands of people donned tails to dive into a weekend of all things mermaid at the MerMagic convention in Virginia.
Held at an aquatic center in Manassas, the convention is billed as the world’s largest dedicated to mermaids and attracts enthusiasts from all walks — or swims — of life.
“It is really for everyone, because you don’t necessarily have to swim to be a mermaid, you don’t necessarily even have to have a tail,” said Morgana Alba, a cofounder of the convention.
“There’s a legend of a different kind of mermaid in just about every society going back as far as history’s been recorded, which means there’s really no wrong way to be a mermaid,” she added.
One group, the Society of Fat Mermaids, was looking to reinforce that message and attract more fans of fins.
Its founder, Che Monique, said she posts pictures of members decked out in their mermaid finest on Instagram to encourage others to think, “Hey, I can do that too.”
But some might be put off by the high price tag that comes with becoming a mermaid.
Many “merfolk” spend thousands of dollars on their outfits, mostly on custom-made tails of silicone or foam and fabric.
“This is definitely not a cheap hobby,” said Jasmine Glover, who was wearing a tail that cost “probably between $2,000 and $3,000.”
“People used to believe in mermaids and now scientifically, people don’t, but honestly, a bunch of people with a dream and a will has made mermaids real,” said Hannah Sayward.
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