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The Mermaids in Pop Culture: The Ones That Shaped us as Merfolk & Our Community

Mermaid and Merman have been discussed, theorized, and written about for centuries. Growing up, we heard the stories and we were lucky enough to see them on film or television. These visual art forms showed different representations of mers which helped inspire many, including myself. These truly gave us water babies a world we would daydream and pretend to be apart of. Today I'll explain how different mermaids in media helped shape me and many others. The biggest inspirations for myself was Disney's The Little Mermaid, The Thirteenth Year, & H2o: Just Add Water.

Starting with Disney's The Little Mermaid, this movie brought an interesting tail to life on the big screen. Apart of what is referred to as the Disney Renaissance, The Little Mermaid marked the start of a new direction in Disney movies. Previously, the princesses shown were more traditional to older standards while this main character, Ariel, was rebellious and independant. I, of course, related to her longing to join a different world, feeling like a fish out of water in her society. She had a longing to travel and explore. These things really resonated with me as she became my favorite princess growing up. I can recall screaming the lyrics to 'Part of Your World' and being so excited to meet her at Disney World.

Next up was The Thirteenth Year. This was a Disney Original Movie that they would play on their TV network. The movie shows a rather popular boy, named Cody, who starts having odd changes occur to him. He knew he was adopted but he didn't know a mermaid had gifted her newborn son to a human couple to raise until he could change into the merman he was born to be. Not many have watched this film to my surprised but I loved the story, the jokes, and the depiction of a merman for a change. You can imagine my young self having a new heart throb. Move over Troy Bolton we have a merman star!

I'd say the biggest inspiration for me was H2o: Just Add Water. I can remember sitting on the couch with by two best friends arguing over who in our group was Ricky, the coolest mermaid really! This show is about three girls who found themselves in a magical Moon Pool, off the Gold Coast of Australia, during a full moon causing them to become mermaids. There are some rules for these mermaids though. If they touch water they have about 10 seconds until they turn into mermaids and have to wait until they are completely dry before they transform back. They try to keep this a secret with only their very closest friend(s) knowing the truth. They were also gifted a magic power related to water for each of them. This tv show was the one that made me want to really become a mermaid. I'd pretend in our small pool outside for hours on end. This tv show now has a spinoff called Mako Mermaids. I personally loved the main cast too much to really get into the spin off however it is inspiring a new generation of mermaids.

While these three were my personal inspirations, there were a few other that inspired the community as a whole. Here are some honorable mentions!

The neverland mermaids in Peter Pan were cunning and a little maniacal. They definitely had a more traditional siren vibe to them.

Aquamarine was a cute movie about a runaway mermaid that washed up in a pool after a large storm, caused by her father who ruled the seas. This mermaid sprouts a pair of legs and finds love in the human world learning new things about human life and culture.

Finally we have the classic SPLASH! This movie inspired many mermaids I personally know and it a classic from the 80s starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah. This movie is a true love story between man and mermaid.

If you haven't seen these mer-iffic movies yet, I highly recommend giving them a watch! Although some may be childish and cheesy, they are all still cute movies! Which ones were your favorite?

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