The XX Factor

Mermaid Stuff, the Hottest New Trend That You Mustn’t Let Distract You From the Resistance

This isn’t helpful.

Violanda28/Thinkstock

In response to the election results earlier this month, some Americans vowed to move to Canada. Others, it seems, want to take to the sea—and become mermaids. This is an understandable response: Our country’s political situation grows darker by the day, whereas mermaids are totally on-trend and #goals. But we’ll tell you wannabe sea nymphs what we told those Canada aspirants: Don’t go. Stay here and fight.

The trade-in-your-sea-legs-for-fins movement can best be demonstrated by the proliferation of mermaid merchandise on the marketplace, as recently rounded up by Huffington Post. At stores like Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters and Nasty Gal, you can buy shine spray that will give you “mermaid hair”; bodysuits that say “mermaid” in bold lettering; or a whole assortment of gear that announces discourteously, “I’m actually a mermaid.” Mermaid highlighters are all the rage. Meanwhile, the mermaid tail blanket has taken up the Snuggie’s former mantle as the internet’s most viral warmth covering.

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It may seem harmless, like the “princess” shirts or “juicy” sweatpants of yore, but all this mer-merch, coming at times such as these, evinces a now all-too-common desire to withdraw from real life, renounce your former self, and give up on this failed experiment we used to call our country. And we get it: Mermaids are sexy. In the animated Peter Pan, when they mess with Wendy and then offhandly demure, “We were only trying to drown her”? Iconic. They have long hair, they don’t wear a lot of clothes, they’re mysterious: It’s a great aesthetic. What better way to say screw you to our new administration than to swim freely through international waters secure in the knowledge that only maritime law can govern you?

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But being a mermaid isn’t all fun and games and trying to sabotage Peter Pan’s girlfriends. It’s dark in the ocean, for one thing. There are sea witches lurking everywhere. Ocean monarchies might be even more patriarchal than above-ground ones—we just don’t know. Not to mention, the transformation process can be seriously dangerous. I knew this one girl who literally lost her voice trying to do it. Actually, she was trying to go from mermaid to human, but you get the idea: risky. And in the end, isn’t becoming a mermaid doing exactly what the new powers that be want us to? Wouldn’t they just love all women to become mythical creatures who are either silent or speak some weird screeching mermaid language? They’d also be happy to use the excuse that it’s unclear if mermaids have genitals to roll back our reproductive rights. Despicable two-legged, landlubbing bastards.

So as much as disappearing into the ocean and becoming a mermaid through sheer force of will seems like a viable option for surviving the next four years, we’re begging you, don’t do it. There are better ways to join the resistance—and you’ll get to keep your legs, to boot.

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