I didn’t just love The Little Mermaid when I was younger, I pretended to be her. I still have vivid memories of a few summers at the pool spent entirely by pretending to be Ariel by dolphin kicking with my hands at my side underneath the water. An avid swimmer from the age of four, by the time I knew that I wanted to be just like Ariel, my swimming skills enabled me to live in this underwater mermaid world for minutes at a time.
A friend shared the following mermaid vs. whale antidote with me and, with my mermaid-emulating childhood in mind, I feel compelled to pass it on. Enjoy, and I hope that it challenges you to re-frame your perspective as much as it did for me. And, for the record, while I still love Ariel, I no longer see her beauty in the same light.
Mermaids versus Whales: Where Do You Fit?
Recently, in large French city, a poster featuring a young, thin and tanned woman appeared in the window of a gym. It said:
DO YOU WANT TO BE A MERMAID OR A WHALE?
A middle aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.
To Whom It May Concern:
Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans). They have an active sex life, they get pregnant and have adorable baby whales. They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp. They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia, the Barren Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia. Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs. They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans. They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.
Mermaids don’t exist. If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis. Fish or human? They don’t have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them not to mention how could they have sex? Therefore they don’t have kids either. Not to mention who wants to get close to a girl who smells like a fish store?
The choice is perfectly clear to me; I want to be a whale.