The ability to live underwater has fascinated me since seeing Little Mermaid and Splash when I was younger. I always pretended to be a mermaid when I went swimming. Unfortunately, you need to have the ability to breathe underwater more than 30 seconds. These two people, Linden Wolbert and Eric Ducharme, have taken extensive lengths to become “real life” merpeople. They have such a love for the mer-lifestyle, that they do not care what society tells them.
Linden Wolbert quit her day job as a residential director at college to become a real life mermaid. She has a “35-pound, 6-foot-long hydro-dynamic tail for her, sealing a monofin inside high-quality silicone, hand-sculpting the scales, and creating a detailed fiberglass mold of Wolbert's body. It took seven months to complete and cost approximately $15,000.” Allan B Holt, a special effects artist, created this piece. She owns two more pieces and has two in development.
Wolbert performs for different charities and also produces her own show informing children about ocean life. She not only has taken her love for the ocean, but also has put it to great use. This woman has training as a free diver and is able to stay underwater for five minutes, so it helps her become more like a real life mermaid. She has decided to completely abandon the norm and go with her dream. What’s even better, is that she is getting paid to do it and educates children about ocean life. Her lifestyle is a complete win-win situation!
Eric Ducharme designs custom makes mertails for "every aspiring mermaid and merman who dreams of life in the sea." His pieces range from $185 to $2,760. The more expensive ones are made of silicone.
His pieces have been featured on television and in photoshoots. He was featured on TLC’s show My Crazy Obsession, as well. Ducharme escapes three times a week to go swimming as a merman and also has the ability to breathe underwater for four minutes. Ducharme’s boyfriend has also accepted Ducharme for his lifestyle, stating that “haters gonna hate.”
Not only has Ducharme found somebody who accepts him as a merman, but he has also turned his passion and lifesyle into a successful, booming business. His mer lifestyle has helped create and perpetuate a positive community for others who aspire to be merpeople. Another awesome life aspiration!
People may argue that it is weird or strange for them to become merpeople even though they do not exist. The idea is, that they have ignored culture and have decided to go with their dreams. One of my favorite quotes is from a character in Little Miss Sunshine, "You know what? F*ck beauty contests. Life is one f*cking beauty contest after another. You know, school, then college, then work, f*ck that. And f*ck the Air Force Academy. If I wanna fly, I'll find a way to fly. You do what you love, and f*ck the rest."
We should take a leaf out of Ducharme and Wolbert's book (or should I say a tail out of their fin), screw the world, and do what we love!