Shelley Bubbles

Shelley Bubbles

A Day in The Life of a Mermaid

By Shelley Bubbles

I usually get up at around 12.00pm to cake my legs in Nivea. Wearing a tail all the time causes terrible chaffing. Next I call my mate Barry to make sure he’s all ready to go with the van. Then I apply a tonne of waterproof make up, stick on scales and wig. Barry arrives and we lube up my leg’s ready to slide on the tail and off we go. Today I’m blowing bubbles at Pontins.


In 2017 I had enough of the London rat race, the 9-5, the no money, the no time. Drowning in an ocean of shit and so I decided to move to Bristol to be closer to the coast and have a go at being a full time mermaid.


Before the transition I worked as a receptionist and a dog walker. Both of which I wasn’t very good at and I consistently felt like a fish out of water and so I decided to own my fishiness and put on a Latex tail.


My mate Karen got me into it, she’s earning a mint, doing guest appearances dressed up as a Mermaid at kids parties, corporate events, holiday resorts & water parks, sitting about taking selfies with kids. I thought to myself that’s got to be better than picking up dog shit any day of the week.


I’ve been doing it for just over a year now and I’m getting by. Although it might seem like an easy thing to do, sitting around for an hour in a tail, blowing bubbles and waving, there is a lot more to it than that.


For example you ever tried taking a piss whilst wearing a latex tail? You got to know you need a piss before you need a piss otherwise you won’t make it to the toilet. Talking of piss my mate Sharon (mermaid name Catherine Cod) say’s she doesn’t wash her minge for a week before a corporate event, she says the fishy smells add to the authenticity.


You’re make up’s got to be waterproof, you don’t want to look like Alice cooper on acid emerging from a pool at a kids party.


You’ve always got to keep your eye on the ball. Sharon let it slip recently and was fired on the spot when her tit fell out at Centre Parks.


You must always remain in character. No kid wants to see his or her Mermaid 10 minutes down the road smoking a fag behind Chicken Cottage.


You need an assistant at all times, someone to help you in and out of the tail and drive you to and from events. I get my best mate Barry to help me. He’s currently off work and living on his disability allowance. I think he likes driving me around, it gives him something to do and I always get us fish and chips on the way home.



We were in the chippy recently after a gig and I was still in my mermaid gear. The staff were all laughing and then one of them asked me if I was there to look at my dead mates? Aka battered cod. I said I actually just came for a beef and onion pie.


You need Insurance. I’ve been to A&E twice since I started Mermaiding once with severe sunstroke and another time when a wasp got stuck in my wig and stung me repeatedly on the head and my face swelled up so huge. I was sent home by the party organiser, who said they hired a Mermaid not a beach ball.


Applying sunscreen in the summer months is vital as a mermaid. I did a glamorous event at a beach party in Marbella. I forgot to apply sunscreen and Barry got drunk with Wendy Whelk & The Waverley sisters. 4 hours later when Barry returned I looked like a burnt prawn vomiting into a party bag. My legs had swollen so much the tail was cutting off my circulation and when the ambulance came they had to spend 30 minutes peeling the tail off me blisters.


Over the years more and more people are catching onto Mermaiding and now there’s a lot of competition. You’ve got to try and stay ahead of your game all the time. I recently lost out on the Iceland Summer party to Tina Tuna.


There is also a real community around Mermaiding. Now we have the quarterly convention, The Mermaid Mingle. This is where mermaids from all over the UK meet to network and exchange tips, although sometimes there is rivalry. Thing’s turned nasty at the last one when the Croydon mermaids kicked off at the Brighton mermaids, because the Brighton mermaids were stealing all the London gigs. They all got their fins in a right flap and Betty Barnacle was out of work for a week with a broken nose and there’s no amount of glitter and scales that can hide that!


There’s always drama at the seaside. I got done recently when I pitched up at Weston Super Mare with a bucket saying £1.50 to “Touch the Tail” – apparently I needed a permit!


Sharon told me Tina Tuna was filming her promo video at Southend on Sea when she actually got caught in a net. When the coast guards came to get her out she ended up cracking on with one of them and two weeks later she’s up the duff. Unfortunately there’s no mermaid Maternity pay and we knew it would be tough for her, but thank fully we all managed to organise an event at the Mermaid Mingle to raise enough funds to get her through it. She’s pregnant again now.


There are all types of mermaids. Myself, Sharon and Catherine Cod are poolside mermaids. We don’t go in the pool as we can’t swim. Some mermaids are synchronised swimmers and they get booked for all the big jobs. You also have Karaoke mermaids, like the Mowtown Mermaids and the Waverley sisters, which if you ask me, have voices that really could sink a ship.


The ultimate achievement for a mermaid is the bespoke silicone tail. This is hand made and should reflect your Mermaid style and personality. They are very expensive but once you have one you can then qualify for the yearly Mermaid Awards held in Australia. Once you have been seen here you can really be taken seriously as a mermaid and people will start booking you for the bigger gigs.


I have started saving and I aim to get there for 2020 but till then I’ll continue testing these waters.