I'm a Professional Award Winning Mermaid - AMA

Raina Mermaid
Mar 25, 2018

I make a full time living by being a professional mermaid, and I have for the past 10 years! I own the first registered mermaid company and swim school program in Canada. We've won multiple awards and have been in most North American media. We've appeared in music videos and on Canadian TV. I've published 3 books about being a pro mermaid called "Fishy Business". Last year I hosted the largest mermaid convention in the world to date. I swim in a 45lb costume and perform in a local aquarium as well. I recently launched my own eco fashion line "Splashin' Fashion" and I run a series of youtube vlogs for the industry. I do hospital visits and work with many charities. You can check me out on my Professional Mermaid Facebook, and my Business Facebook, or my instagram. Currently a documentary is being made about my life, with a potential spin off TV show. I cope with multiple chronic illnesses while doing this. I LOVE the ocean. <3

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What shoots and events do you get involved with as a professional mermaid?
Mar 31, 7:23PM EDT0

all manner! Here's a music video we just finished that is up for video of the year.

Mar 31, 10:37PM EDT0
What are the important attributes of mermaid’s tail, and how is your tail constructed?
Mar 31, 1:02PM EDT0

the tails I use are poured and molded silicone, pigmented, and fitted with a fiber glass monofin inside!

Mar 31, 10:31PM EDT0
What is your best experience as a professional mermaid?
Mar 31, 3:21AM EDT0

Mar 31, 10:36PM EDT0
What physical activities do you do to maintain your body?
Mar 30, 5:56PM EDT0

A lot! I have a blog about it here.

Mar 31, 10:33PM EDT0
What are some activities you really enjoy as a mermaid?
Mar 30, 3:12AM EDT0

swimming underwater with all manner of creatures!

Mar 31, 10:32PM EDT0
What do your friends and family think of you as a professional mermaid?
Mar 29, 10:55PM EDT0

my little sister is actually a mermaid for me

Mar 31, 10:40PM EDT0
Why did you choose to become a mermaid? What other jobs did you do before that?
Mar 29, 9:23PM EDT0

The why is a long answer that I've given a few comments down :) before, I was a teacher. I also worked for an art gallery and a book store. I did some modelling occasionally as well.

Mar 31, 10:32PM EDT0
Is there a code of conduct or philosophy followed by Mermaid?
Mar 29, 4:29AM EDT0

There's no industry standard. We have a set of standards for our company.

Mar 29, 8:21AM EDT0
How many other mermaids do you work with?
Mar 28, 1:07PM EDT0

I have a team of 12! But I work with many internationally when I travel.

Mar 28, 3:53PM EDT0
Is it hard to swim with that base monofin thing on?
Mar 28, 6:58AM EDT0

No, I find it easier actually!

Mar 28, 8:14AM EDT0
Do you have any advice for coping with fibromyalgia?
Mar 27, 11:36PM EDT0

I recently started infrared Sauna treatments (not to be confused with regular sauna). There's been some long-term studies on their effectiveness for people with chronic pain and fibro. I have to say, they live up to the hype and are inexpensive for sessions. I'd love to buy my own some day. I also try to keep moving which I know is hard.

Mar 28, 8:15AM EDT0
Do you think your job as a mermaid objectifies women?
Mar 27, 7:47PM EDT0

I think my job is extremely empowering to women. Mers come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages. It's a female dominated industry and the myth of the mermaid is very rooted in feminine history. Many people only think of "the little mermaid" when in fact there are more incarnations than you can count. In parts of Africa we have the mermaid goddess Yemayah, who is a goddess of fertility, water, and life giving. In the Canadian North we have Sedna, an Inuit woman who defied her father's arranged marriage for her and became a goddess of the arctic ocean and all the animals. The Nyngo of Japan served as a warning to sailors of an incoming Tsunami.

Of course, all this empowerment doesn't stop men from objectifying us sadly. We like to call those men, "merverts".

Mar 28, 8:18AM EDT1
How many different mermaid costumes do you own?
Mar 27, 7:00PM EDT0

5 silicone and dozens of fabric

Mar 28, 8:18AM EDT0
What inspired you to get into the mermaid profession in the first place? Was it your childhood love for mermaids?
Mar 27, 4:46PM EDT0

I always loved mermaids, but it wasn't until I was an adult suffering with severe chronic illness and unemployment that I got inspired. (answered in more detail to a similar question below!)

Mar 28, 8:19AM EDT0
What can one expect to get out of signing up for your swim school program? Do they get to swim in a mermaid costume?
Mar 27, 4:39PM EDT0

Yup, we teach  you how to swim in a mermaid tail! With safety as the priority.

Mar 27, 4:47PM EDT0
Do you feel incomplete without your costume? How do you feel more you, with or without it?
Mar 27, 7:27AM EDT0

It has helped me become more "me" but I certainly need breaks from it from time to time.

Mar 27, 8:24AM EDT0
Do you ever get bored of working as a professional mermaid?
Mar 27, 4:17AM EDT0

Not bored, but certainly tired. Anyone who works in anything where you need to book "gigs" will tell you, you go flat out.

Mar 27, 8:23AM EDT0
As a messenger of the underwater universe, what is the most important message you’d like to share?
Mar 27, 4:15AM EDT0

that plastic pollution is a million times worse than people can even imagine. They just can't see how bad it is

Mar 27, 8:22AM EDT0
Did you dream that as your job when you were little? Was it a conscious choice you worked towards as a profession or it happened by accident?
Mar 26, 11:34PM EDT0

totally by accident. I was lined up to be a teacher. But the local economy fell out on that. I was actually very hesitant to turn this into a profession. I sought out mentorship to be able to do so. Even though it's been years... I still pinch myself. I'm working on diversifying income because I wont be able to be a mermaid forever. This is where my publications and monetization have really helped.

Last edited @ Mar 27, 8:24AM EDT.
Mar 27, 8:23AM EDT0

Are there any men in your profession? Do you think there should be more? 

Mar 26, 1:42PM EDT0

There are many men, but they are still a minority. I'd say they only make up 1/4th of the community a whole, and few work professionally. Mermna Jax is pretty awesome, he owns "Dark Tide Productions" in California. Eric Durcharme "The Mertailor" has a tail making business and is a professional merman performer. He does a lot of work on TV. You can even catch him on Netflix. At all the conventions I've hosted we make an effort to have male guest speakers to help empower.

Mar 26, 2:05PM EDT0
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