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Meet the guys dressing as mermen

Meet the guys dressing as mermen

Davi Moreira

Did the trend for mermaid hair a couple of years back not go quite far enough for you?

An increasing number of people are taking their love of mermaids and mermen to the next level.

For others, dressing as mermen is a more light-hearted pastime. Two of those to have made something of a name for themselves in mermaid circles (and that’s not a sentence you read every day…) are Davi Moreira and Alex Vassal.

Davi, who is gay, lives in Brazil.

He tells GSN: ‘I started when I was little, playing on the beach. I would roll my mom’s towel around my legs and I imitate Ariel. I am a huge fan of Disney.

‘Then I saw that there were people who would professionally do this and had a different lifestyle. From there I got the idea of using a flipper, sowed some tight Lycra to it and it became a simple tail. Then I started buying more.’

He sees his dressing up as an escape from the humdrum reality of everyday life.

‘Since I was a kid, I have always been fascinated by the mystic, the fantasy world. Our human world is too boring, isn’t it?’

Davi documents some of his adventures on his Instagram, and has also modeled as a mermen and even featured on TV.

Another gay man living his merman life via social media is Vassal, otherwise known as Merman Arion. He has built up a following of over 44,000 on Instagram with his postings.

A post shared by Merman Arion (@merman_arion) on

Many of his fans particularly love the work he puts into some of his fishtails. He sews thousands of scales on by hand!

A post shared by Merman Arion (@merman_arion) on


Mermaids have become such a big thing that there’s now an annual gatherings in the US. Mermania 2017 took place in January in North Carolina. A European Merfest took place in the Netherlands in July. Attendees are able to swim together in a big swimming pool.

Is this cos-play taken to an extreme? For some there may be more to it than simply a love of dressing up.

A post shared by Merman Arion (@merman_arion) on

Weird Wild World recently made a film about a group of people who regularly get together to dress and swim as merfolk in Seattle, Washington.

One of those in the group, who identifies as non-binary, said merfolk’s lack of genitalia made the identity particularly appealing to them. They felt more free and authentic when exploring their merfolk persona.


The gender-fluidity of merfolk is something that also appealed to the creators of a new charity calendar.

The 2018 MerBys calendar
The 2018 MerBy’s calendar Ritche Perez


The ‘2018 MerBy’s Calendar’ has been produced by the Newfoundland & Labrador Beard and Moustache Club. It features members of the club dressed as Mermen.

They say the word ‘MerBy’ comes from combining ‘the word Merman with the Newfoundland term “b’y” (pronounced “bye”), a gender neutral term similar to the word buddy.’

In a press statement, Hasan Hai, founder of the NL Beard & Moustache Club, say they made the calendar because: ‘Our club values and embraces diversity in our membership such as gender identity, ethnicity, body shape, and sexual orientation. Also, we delight in breaking down traditional gender stereotypes in a creative ways.’

The 2018 MerBy's calendar
The 2018 MerBy’s calendar Ashley Harding

‘Beyond the sheer fun and silliness of this, we decided to support a local non-profit organization called Spirit Horse, which helps people through therapy with horses. It’s a great program run by an incredible person, so it really was a no-brainer about supporting them.’

Whether for a good cause, for fun, or to explore an alternative persona or identity, mermaids appear to be emerging from the waves and entering the spotlight.