Israel's Mermaid Community
“Last year, Shir Katzenell made a drastic life change, leaving a prestigious job in the Israeli army to pursue a childhood dream: becoming a mermaid. Ever since getting hooked on Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ as a kid, Katzenell confided, she has longed to turn into one. While her friends moved on, Katzenell’s enchantment with mermaids endured. She fantasized about swimming underwater alongside fish in a 10-pound tail and sequined bikini. Then she actually gave it a try. Together with a friend and fellow mermaid-fan, Michelle Koretsky, she started an unlikely social scene: a group of aspiring mermaids in Israel, which has grown on Facebook to nearly 1,000 members. It’s the Israeli pocket of a worldwide community that she claims is gaining prominence. Now, as a 34-year-old ‘full-time mermaid,’ she sells brightly-colored tails, some with dizzying $800 price tags, and teaches people the skill of swimming in them. The tail-clad group convenes regularly to romp in public pools across the country and participate in demonstrations to raise awareness about ocean preservation. One of the clan’s few mer-men, Yuval Avrami, marveled at how his fabric fin flitted in the water, describing it as a ‘dream come true.’ He said he learned about the trend through transgender friends and became fascinated by ‘the transition from one species to another, the ability to inhabit a new, magical identity.’”
“A Tale of Tails,” The Times of Israel, Apr. 17, 2019
See also Fantasy Dangers, a free eBook available from www.wayoflife.org.)
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