Welcome Back, Mermaidcore
For a Century, a Collective Love of Tails and Fins Has Helped Women Transgress on Land and Sea
Shell-adorned bikini tops. Fishtail skirts. Starfish accessories. Seafoam green eyeshadow. Expect to see all of this and more riding the waves of Disney’s latest live-action blockbuster, The Little Mermaid.
In other words, “mermaidcore”—the personification of aquatic glamor and physical beauty—is back.
Since antiquity, mermaids have embodied our fantasies of the briny deep. Inscrutable, various, and generally scantily clad, these half-fish, half-woman mythological creatures are shapeshifting female figures known the world over, from the sirens of the Aegean, to the jiaoxiao of the South China Sea, to Africa’s Mami Wata, often traced to the …