Mermaid Tails
A look into mermaids & mermaid costumes
Mermaid Symbolism

Mermaids have become highly significant symbols in their own right through the ages, with the myths and legends which brought the public’s attention to the mythical creatures spawning a series of iconographical allegories. As a result, mermaids frequently appear in artistic masterpieces or even form the centrepiece of tattoos beloved by those who firmly believe in their existence.

One of the major things mermaids symbolise is, obviously, the sea – as well as being their habitat, their strong and changeable natures are mirrored in the diametric differences between a calm sea and a raging storm. Those who choose to wear a mermaid symbol or display a piece of art in which a mermaid features are often commenting upon their own characteristics, hinting that like the mermaid their dual natures are both dangerous and alluring at the same time.

Mermaids are also symbols for sensuality and beauty, as their long flowing hair and famous good looks capture the essence of femininity. The Ancient Greeks often mused that mermaids were the descendants of Aphrodite and Venus, the goddesses of love and beauty, and so were inclined to romanticise tales of sailors falling in love with these stunning sea dwelling creatures.

Yet this beauty comes with a curse, as in the Victorian era churches began to depict mermaids in murals as the embodiment of vanity – one of the seven deadly sins. Their legendary fondness for basking, displaying their bodies and gazing into hand held mirrors was frowned upon at a time when women were expected to cover up as much as possible. Churches also used mermaid symbolism to warn men of the dangers of feminine nature – the vanity of mermaids was seen as a means of tempting the weaker of the male species down the Devil’s path, with numerous murals showing sailors following mermaids into the depths of Hell.