Mermaids, the creatures that Disney put on vogue in the late 80s with movies like 123 Splash and The Little Mermaid made an impact to us children so after that Mattel fullfilled our dreams and made some glorious Barbie mermaids in the 90s. What we didn't imagine was that so amazing creatures were much darker and had a strong bond with death.

In spanish and other latin languages, a word like #mermaid, (literally maid of the sea) doesn't exist and we use sirena (who chains) for their origins in the #classicalmythology in which sirens aren't pretty girls with fishtails, they are dangerous half women creatures in a bird body who entranced sailors with their delicious voices leading them to shipwreck, but it seems that some of them had a function as psychopomps too, guiding the souls in the afterlife.

From then on the thing gets confusing between different versions of their origins in classic literature, depictions of half women and half fish #goddesses in #orient and the incursion of christianism that used sirens as monsters related with the evil in bestiaries that included sirens with serpent and fish tails to warn "decent men" about the dangers of the feminine temptation of flesh.

Sure that played tricks with the minds of the delirious scurvy ill sailors who pressumably mistook mermaids for seals or manatees like Columbus.

After all the myth has been constantly evolving over time with many local legends and tales until their sweetened image of nowadays. Influenced by many artists, from the prerafaelites to Hans Christian Andersen's tales or Disney imaginary, mermaids were little by little suiting better a collective that since the victorian era grew like a group in need to get their own rights and preserve their innocence, the children.

We, children of the 80s and 90s maybe had a shock when we knew about the harsh tales that were in origin many of our favorite ones but at least we dreamed free with our colorful Barbie mermaids who could dress for a cocktail by only taking their tails out and if not under the sea, they took more than one dive in our bathtubs .

by The Barbiest