As a kid, I loved Disney’s The Little Mermaid. I’m almost certain I managed to destroy our original VHS copy by watching it repeatedly, much to my parents’ chagrin. However, there was always one detail in particular which bothered me: Why in the hell was Ariel so eager to be part of the human world? Did the girl not realize how cool it was to be a damn mermaid?
Frankly, I was rooting for her to ditch those legs and go back to her dope underwater castle. For those of us who find the charm of mermaids irresistible (which is pretty much everyone), the notion of becoming one seems more worthy of a song break than the desire to become a human.
24-year-old Eric Montel of Atlanta clearly agrees, as he is living that very dream: working as (drumroll, please) a professional merman.
Yes. There is A.) a world of mermaid professionals and B.) one of them is a gay black man. Everything in life just officially got AMAZING.
Let us take a moment to bask in the majesty of this nautical creature.
And yes, I’m sure you’re thinking, “How does one actually work as a mermaid?”
Well, it’s actually quite simple. Individuals who are livin’ that Mermaid Lyfe (complete with their own collection of swimwear tails, obviously) hire themselves out to parties and special events. Eric works under the merman name of Rasta Merman Blix, and specializes in “aquatic dancing.”
“I’ve always been a mermaid lover since I could walk and talk,” Eric told BuzzFeed. “I got my first tail in 2012 and started taking being a professional merman seriously about two years ago.”
“They are the oldest mythical creature known to man,” Eric continued. “I just love how free they are and don’t have to worry about money and bills like we have to. Their personalities can go from charming to dangerous at the drop of rain. Plus, humans can’t resist them.”
Eric says that he hopes to change the common perceptions about mermaids — i.e., that they are women with blonde hair and blue eyes. He even encourages kids at the birthday parties he works at to do the same.
“I’ve … had kids tell me, ‘My friends tell me I can’t be a mermaid because I’m black,'” Eric says in a Facebook video. “And I’m like ‘No, baby, don’t say that! That should make you WANT to be one. You can be the first!'”
As the caption on Eric’s video says: “Life isn’t always easy, and we all have different ways to escape. But few are as magical as transforming into a merman.”
I would have to say that it’s pretty damn difficult to argue with such an accurate statement. Now someone buy me a mermaid tail, please.