November 28th, 2006
theWAREHOUSE Vat of Knowledge presents:
Everything you ever wanted to know about popular mermaid icons. Because, well, they're kinda cool. From the vicious creatures in Peter Pan to real world freakshows and everywhere in between, mermaids make big splashes (har) in popular culture. So check out some information on some of the most widely recognized mermaids:
the Starbucks Mermaid is one of the most well recognized logos in the world. But she didn't just start off as the slick media icon she is today. No no. Along the way she's lost quite a bit of her original charm, including a bellybutton and a pair of nipples (really). In fact, she is strictly a siren, which can be generally lumped into the "mermaid" category of Greek mythology. Vile Starbucks Siren, wafting forth her burnt caffeine aroma, luring poor hipsters to their overpriced doom.
the FeeJee (or Fiji) mermaid is quite a grotesque little beast. Often imitated in various sideshows and oddity museums, the original Fiji Mermaid was "owned" by PT Barnum, the circus great. Really, though, it's just a bizarre bit of taxidermy, combining parts of a fish and parts of a monkey. One might say that any amalgamation of animal parts that roughly imitate a fish-like body with a monkey-like head is a "Fiji mermaid" - and that includes your last foray into "fusion" cooking, mister Wolfgang Puck.
the Chicken of the Sea hottie and resident can gracer is one of the friendlier types of mermaids. Another corporate shill, she has no problem whoring herself out for all the albacore in the ocean. How did Chicken of the Sea get its name? Because the sailors compared tuna fish's mild flavor to chicken. How did the company land on a mermaid as their icon? I have no idea.
Darryl Hanna donned the tail for the 1984 so-bad-it's-awful-but-still-kinda-fun movie Splash. Tom Hanks was the costar, playing a love-struck well-meaning hero to the sometimes-finned sometimes-legged Darryl Hanna. It culminates in the pair escaping the troubles of the world above by going to live in an underwater kingdom. Hmmm. By the way, if you know anyone named Madison, you can tell them that the name was nearly invented by this movie.
the Little Mermaid starred in the movie of the same name. Duh. Ariel was the scantily clad young teen girl in the Disney classic. Sure there was adventure abound and songs and love and all that good stuff. She went a long way to popularize mainstream mermaid imagery. Speaking of which, did you know that her design was based off of:
Alyssa Milano? Really! Back when they created the Little Mermaid, and before Alyssa Milano grew up into a soft-core-erotica actress, Disney animators used her angelic face as inspiration. Alyssa, in the fine spirit of recreation actually played a mermaid years later on the teen series Charmed. I'm surprised at how she got away wearing so little for the show, considering it's really just a few gold scale pasties. Hooray for America.
Speaking of scantily clad mermaids, Peta, the nutjob whackos, recruited Carre Otis to pull on the ol' fins and pose fish-covered but topless for an animal rights billboard. Now, don't get me wrong, but don't most vegetarians eat fish? It's only once they get into vegan territory that everything's off limits. Crazy people. Anyway, hooray for creative advertising?