I would love to see some reversal and playing with these tropes, some serious confrontations of the disability and gender narratives embedded in storytelling about mermaids, because I think it would be really interesting. Why not have a gay or lesbian retelling of a traditional fairytale? Or one where the mermaid remains underwater and the love interest is forced to give everything up to go into the sea? Why not flop the paradigm and turn the normative land-based body into the tragedy and the thing that must be modified in order to fit into an undersea environment? Or perhaps a mermaid could fall in love with someone who uses a wheelchair for mobility on land and discovers that the water provides freedom and independence? Why does the mermaid tale have to be inherently tragic, a tale of one broken and one ‘normal’ body?
The reason I am so drawn to Tumblr is not only for the glory, exorcism and witnessing of rage, but also the amazing and beautiful sentiment and drive towards “If we want to see it, and it does not exist, we will CREATE it. We will NAME it. We will SUBVERT it. We will WALLOW in it until our bellies are filled with self-love.”
See: Mermaids of Color
See: The Arkh Project
See: Hard Femme