Forget zombies. Forget vampires. I am here to predict to you that the next big thing is mermaids. All kinds of mermaids -- sexy ones with pretty tails and long hair and creepy ones with sharp teeth and no sympathy for your breathing needs. I base this prediction entirely upon logic and a conversation I had with my agent about fiction.
(Please note, this is not HER prediction. I'm just running with it.)
Mermaids are pretty kick ass. And my first mermaid love was not Ariel from Disney's "The Little Mermaid" (She made such bad choices! Don't give your legs up for a DUDE!) -- no, I learned about mermaid style from the straight up master of it in 1984, Daryl Hannah.
I was six years old when "Splash" came out. Because my parents have never been very good at determining age appropriateness, I totally remember seeing it in theaters. Also, it was the early 80s -- the worst thing I was likely to see was full-frontal female nudity and I think we'd all seen that before on Skinemax. (Do you remember Cinemax, the early cable channel best known for its softcore after-dark flicks?)
ANYWAY, Daryl Hannah played Madison, a mermaid from the coast of Cape Cod who went to NYC to find the man she saved from drowning and fell in love with. It doesn't seem to take much for mermaids to fall in love, y'all. (Either they don't get out much or humans just seem way exotic after a lifetime of merpeople.)
Check out this mermaid hot style.
(No, that's not from "Across the Universe." Instagram folks, I am looking at you very sternly right now.)
Ariel is OK, too, I GUESS. But as a grown up (in as much as I am a grown up), my mermaid obsession has shifted to this guy: The Mertailor. Not only does he make the most incredible mermaid tails ever, he lives his own mermaid (merman, rather) style to the absolute fullest.
Maybe it's a Florida thing -- we've got Weeki Wachee Springs, after all, and their world-famous mermaids, who put on shows 7 days a week. No rest for a working mermaid, apparently.
But what Florida does not have is a mermaid parade. That's reserved for Coney Island, where they've been putting on a free art parade for mermaid lovers for the past 30 years. If you think I'm not donating to their Save the Mermaid Parade Kickstarter, well, you've never met me.
But how can I, an adult in a business casual environment, live any sort of mermaid life? Obviously, I cannot wear a tail to the office. While Daryl Hannah attempted to solve this existential dilemma by blow-drying her tail so it would turn back into legs, I must resort to more mundane measures.
(Also, I have been drinking cider while writing this. Sorry for all the everything.)
Let us begin with mermaid hair. Obviously mine is blue. But even if you are not living the crayon-hair lifestyle, you can still look like you just flopped up on the beach fresh from the mermaid stylist.
It was the most secret desire of my 10-year-old heart to own a crimping iron. And thus, my 35-year-old heart told me to buy one recently. So I did. And, yes, it was everything I hoped and dreamed.
Mermaid hair, no matter what the length, is tousled and beachy. It's got a lot of texture to it, because you've been frolicking in the surf and sun. I crimped little tiny sections to create that texture, pulling from throughout the mass of my hair.
You can see that some parts are curly (my natural texture) and some parts are crimped, and it creates a bit of a windy-day-at-the-beach effect. Go easy on the gel is what I'm saying. In fact, leave the gel and whatever you use to smooth your hair at home entirely. You want your hair to stack up and create volume!
You can also, if your hair is not asymmetric in length, pin up different parts of it with tiny, sparkly barrettes. I don't know, maybe it really is a fish and a lobster helping mermaids do their hair -- they're working with fins and claws so it's a little imprecise.
For Mermaid Parade levels of fanciness, people bring out the glitter and the amazing eye makeup. But for fat business casual mermaids like me? This is one of the few times we keep it natural and neutral. Mermaids don't get a lot of sun when they're at home being mermaids, so I moisturized (which I always forget to do) and left it at that for my skin. No bronzer. No illuminating. (Sorry, Tynan!) This might be a good place for those BB creams that people seem to love so much. This is about your skin, whatever shade of it you have, looking fresh and anything but dry.
Where the skin and eyes might be natural, it's not a mermaid look without luscious lip color -- something in the purple family works for me. (Because it's COLD underwater.)
Purple works for me because it's a nice contrast with my hair. In the photo, I'm actually wearing a color I made by layering two different lipsticks (Night Violet -- a mattene -- and Candy Yum-Yum) from MAC. Be a little daring on this one because it's your major color statement!
My fat mermaid style is also influenced by Ursula (the original fat one, not the skinnified version) and her all-black tentacle wardrobe. But if you're not feeling the goth vibe, you can pair this look with comfortable and easy pieces, long skirts, tunic tops, and leggings. Mix neutrals and rainbow colors -- think about the way sea creatures have unexpected color!
Please do consider throwing a little spare cash toward the Mermaid Parade if you're able. And then let's rock out with our fins out. So to speak.
Marianne is watching Splash and sharing mermaid links on Twitter: @TheRotund.