Mermaid Spotlight: Mermaid Marla
How did you get your start?
It actually came about from my love of scuba diving. Around 2009 I was researching for monofins for exercise to strengthen my core and I was also interested in learning a little bit about freediving. Some of my google searches started bringing up mermaid tails because they are made with monofins, which blew my mind! At that time mermaids were not a big thing but I could not believe that I had never seen or heard of these tails before. Well, after that first stumble I was hooked. I started researching feverishly on anything having to do with mermaid tails, and of course that led to seeing Hannah Fraser for the first time. After seeing her videos and what she had accomplished I knew that was something I wanted to be a part of! My Search pulled up the only professional mermaid tail maker at that time, which was the The Mertailor. I contacted him straight away and asked if he had any used tails that he would like to get rid of. To my surprise he happened to have some gold mermaid tails that had been made for a particular photo shoot and was happy to sell those at a lesser price. So my first mermaid tail was my iconic gold tail, which to this day people still say is their favorite of mine!
What's your favorite thing to do on land?
Hiking in nature. Anything that has to do with distressing and getting away from day-to-day life.
What is your favorite spot to dive and do your mermaid thing?
I love swimming in the clear waters of Florida Springs, but honestly that water is far too cold for me to really enjoy myself. I would have to say the Caribbean as the water is clear and very warm most of the time.
What's your favorite underwater animal?
This has always been a hard one to answer because how can you choose just one? Narwhals and Belugas are two of my favorite whales. Actually I am just in awe of all whales! And, although they are not whales, whale sharks hold a special spot in my heart having had the honor to swim with them a few years ago!
What's your favorite thing about being a mermaid?
It’s really hard to explain the mixture of feelings I have as a mermaid. Being a mermaid sort of gives me the freedom to be more expressive and childlike. As adults we sometimes forget the simple things in life and suppress a lot of our imagination for day to day living. Being a mermaid allows me to tap into that imaginative state again. It’s very liberating and addicting to get lost in imagination, especially if you’re not used to it. As silly as it may seem to some, I’m very thankful I found this creative outlet. The older I get the more I feel that scuba diving and mermaiding have made my life much more enjoyable and I continue to learn, through mermaiding, how to let my inner child out!
Is conservation important to you?
It is extremely important to me. Being overly empathetic has led me to become quite overwhelmed by what is happening to marine life and our oceans everywhere! I sign petitions left and right, participate in marches in Washington DC when possible, and use my mermaid self to attract attention to all conservation efforts that I can be a part of.
How can we (your mermaid friends) help the ocean, our home?
Every single person has a duty to this planet. No effort is too small to help. Social media has helped in so many ways to connect people and share ideas on what we can all do. Of course plastic remains one of the biggest issues we are facing to date, and it isn’t just our oceans that are at stake. With just a little research you can find out how plastic ends up inside of us simply by eating your favorite seafood. For the most part, most people realize what they need to do, it’s just putting in the effort to actually do those things which is the biggest hurdle. I feel we are slowly, but surely making headway and that the generation in grade schools right now are being taught about conservation like no other generation before them! They are this planet’s future so please everyone...teach your children well, to respect the earth and have empathy for all living creatures! Do your part to reduce, reuse and recycle when possible! Be part of the solution, not part of the problem!