Who doesn’t want to be a mermaid? Even celebrities have lifelong dreams of such, just like us. Fortunately for them, they have money and couture and designers on speed dial to live out their dreams. Here are some celebrities who channelled their inner mermaids!
Making the list of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2011, for one night, Blake Lively showed up as a real-life Ariel from The Little Mermaid.
Red waves? Check. Soft green dress? Check. Glowing skin? Check. Only she was swathed in couture, whereas poor Ariel had to make do with a white sail and rope.
And somehow, Ariel still managed to grab the eyes of the Prince. Must be mermaid magic.
Anyway, Blake’s dress was from Zuhair Murad’s Spring 2011 Couture collection. I just love how the material had several tones instead of just one shade throughout, as that made the dress look really interesting.
While I feel like the red hair didn’t really match her tanned skin, I think it still looks really pretty and the overall effect really looks like Ariel.
At the 80th Academy Awards in 2008, French actress Marion Cotillard wore a fishtail dress featuring white scales by Jean Paul Gaultier.
This was the day she won her first Oscar for Best Actress in La Vie En Rose (she played the role of singer Edith Piaf), and accepted the award onstage in this dress.
I love how she paired the dress with wavy brunette locks and very minimal accessories. My wish is that the dress would be shinier in photos – can you imagine if the gold scales of the dress were really sparkly?
Gisele Bundchen in Versace
Gisele Bundchen models for Versace’s S/S 2009 collection. There were quite a few outfits from this collection modelled by both Gisele and Kate Moss, which looked like they could belong underwater, but I felt this dress really topped the cake.
I love how the shades of the dress flowed from gold to blue, and Gisele’s tousled blonde hair also creates a relaxed look.
Shooting the campaign on a boat with glass sides and blue-green waters creates a really cool effect too. While it doesn’t obviously scream ‘mermaid’, I feel like the undertone of this ad does showcase it.
Kim Kardashian Halloween costume
For Halloween 2012, the arguably most famous Kardashian went for the traditional glam mermaid look, with long blonde locks, giant seashell bra and lots of pearls.
Husband Kanye West was dressed as a sailor. Of course.
Kim recently also re-wore this outfit again to celebrate her daughter North’s birthday! North got to have her own pink tail and also a mermaid birthday party.
That is both adorable and cool. I am not jealous, not at all.
Last Halloween, the Little Mix singer also decided to dress up as a mermaid, but unlike Kim Kardashian’s quintessential ‘pretty’ look, Perrie Edwards opted to go for a dark siren seawitch look.
With tiny shells and a skintight green tail, she also had loads of glitter on her face and neck. I love that she added jewels and pearls on her face.
When you’re Britney Spears, you don’t need to wait for Halloween to have an excuse to break out the mermaid tail: you just need a mini pool party!
Britney glams up a casual pool day with a blue tail and a striped sailor-like top while swimming with her 2 children Sean and Jayden. She captioned the photo on Instagram: “The mermaid life” because obviously.
A month later, she posted another photo with her niece Lexie. And both of them were wearing matching tails!
Husband Channing Tatum might be transformed into a merman for the Splash movie remake, but that doesn’t mean that wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum can’t get into the mer-spirit as well.
Here she is lounging on the floor in her fab purple tail, while their daughter Everly is playing in the corner, wearing her own purple tail!
What do you mean you don’t lounge around your house with your own flashy purple mermaid tail?
Whenever I see Paris Hilton, the lyrics “Even though the Gods are crazy, even though the stars are blind” starts to ring in my head.
Anyway, Paris decided that her ninth fragrance would be named Siren and embody a playful, sexy mermaid. And of course Paris just had to dress up as a mermaid too to promote the fragrance!
The bottle features a tiny gold mermaid, and the packaging also features a blonde mermaid with a golden tail, so Paris had her own golden tail too. This ad sort of looks like Ariel on the rock, with the waves splashing all around her? I’m not sure if that’s where Paris took her inspiration from.
I actually don’t love this photo, because I feel like Paris’ straight-legged tail doesn’t look very realistic. If she bent her knees instead, it would probably look a lot better. It also annoys me that her hair extensions are very obvious and her real hair ends just above her breasts.
Not to be outdone, Katy Perry transforms into a pink-haired mermaid to promote GHD hairdryers.
It looks like a really stormy night underneath the Brooklyn Bridge which looks very cool. And Katy Perry is a planking pink mermaid with perfect skin.
To be honest though, the hairdryer sitting on the orange clamshell is basically overshadowed by everything else.
I didn’t even notice it the first 5 times I looked at the photo. Katy is basically taking center stage and the product is sitting unnoticed next to her. Perhaps she should have held it in her left hand? It’s not an effective advert if your product isn’t shining out of the picture.
I just can’t imagine how she’s standing in this image though. Is she on her tiptoes? Is she just standing firmly on the ground? Did they photoshop that thinnest part of her tail or is she standing with one leg behind the other? So many questions.
Lady Gaga puts her own twist in the traditional colourful mermaids with an all-black body and tail. Ever heard of Yuyi? She is one of Lady Gaga’s alter egos, and appears in Gaga’s You and I music video.
Lady Gaga has even performed live as Yuyi, moving around in a wheelchair since mermaids have difficulty getting around on land. Ahh, the perils of a tail…
Julianne Moore recreates Ariel in The Little Mermaid in the Disney Dream Portrait Series campaign in 2008. Helmed by photographer Annie Leibovitz, this was one of a series of photos shot by Annie showcasing celebrities in popular Disney roles like Cinderella, Jasmine, Pocahontas and more.
Swimmer Michael Phelps plays a supporting role in the foreground (because he is an Olympic swimmer, so that certainly makes sense?).
I LOVE the final effect of this photo. I like how Michael Phelps is so into it, like he’s 100% committed to the role. I love the mermaid/merman in the top left corner who looks like she/he’s about to do some circus tricks. And I love that giant tail on Julianne.
Have to admit, those other merpeople look a little evil. Especially the one on the far right? She looks like she’s plotting something, doesn’t she?
Best known for her roles in High School Musical, Sucker Punch and Spring Breakers, Vanessa Hudgens decided that her next role would be of the mermaid variety.
So here she is as a mermaid queen with a pink tail! Vanessa posed for Project Mermaids, a project that transforms people into mermaids and mermen to bring awareness to environmental pollution.
To be honest, the Vanessa’s shells don’t look form-fitting 😂
But I love that pink tail!
Bella, Dani and Kaili Thorne
American actresses and sisters Bella, Dani and Kaili Thorne also got into the mermaid spirit for Project Mermaid.
Bella Thorne is most famous for her role in the Disney channel series Shake It Up (as well as her recent run-ins with Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ Scott Disick…). Dani Thorne has had bit roles in Nickelodeon and Disney TV shows, and Kaili Thorne also appeared in TV shows like CSI Miami and The O.C.
I think most girls (and maybe boys) have this childhood fantasy of becoming a mermaid/merman. It’s always seen as something cool, different and exciting, so I’m pretty sure most people would leap at the chance of transforming into a mermaid/merman for Project Mermaids.
Noah and Brandi Cyrus
Another set of sisters also got together for Project Mermaid: Noah and Brandi Cyrus. Miley Cyrus’ not-so-crazy sisters got together and posed for a photoshoot.
Noah’s colour scheme was yellow-orange and gold, complete with a gold crown and dark hair. Brandi’s colour scheme was pink and blue, and while this photo doesn’t show it, she had pretty blue streaks in her hair.
And of course, just lounging on a rock being mermaid queens. No big deal.
Victoria Justice and Madison Reed
And yet another group of sisters were transformed into mermaids for Project Mermaid. In 2015, half-sisters Victoria Justice and Madison Reed (who share the same mother Serene Justice) also participated in ocean conservation while gaining orange and pink tails.
Victoria Justice is a Nickelodeon star who fronted shows like Victorious and Zoey 101. Her sister Madison is an aspiring actress with small roles in movies and TV shows.
The main goal of Project Mermaids is to “bring awareness as to how precious the ocean and beaches are and to keep this beautiful environment healthy and clean. 50% of the proceeds are going to be addressed to the Save Our Beach foundation.”
American singer Jojo actually acted in a mermaid movie Aquamarine with Emma Roberts and Sara Paxton in 2006, but in 2014 she decided she was going to become the mermaid. Collaborating with Project Mermaid too, she got to flap around with a giant tail.
She used to be one of my favourite singers! I loved her songs Leave (Get Out) and Too Little Too Late. Not a big fan of her newer songs but I really like her album The High Road.
And I love this photo of her. It looks super cool and very realistic, like a mermaid washed ashore with tousled waves.
I did not include celebrities who dressed as mermaids/merman for television shows and movies. I wanted to include celebrities who volunteered themselves or chose to become mermaids due to their own personal interest.
What I felt after compiling the list was, why is there such a shortage of mermen? The only notable merman on this list is Michael Phelps. I know there’s maybe a couple more, who are reality TV stars etc.
The point is, mermaids are generally seen as pink and sparkly and feminine, and always female. While Michael Phelps and Channing Tatum (in his upcoming Splash remake) are helping to break that traditional mold, mermaids are generally still an exclusively female notion.
Merman, I hope with this website, that we can create a community of accepting unique individuals who appreciate you just as you are. If you are a merman, comment down below and join us!
Fari Wu 🦄