Rosie Palmer, 23, has a very unique career.
As I pressed play on the DVD player, I felt a thrill of excitement. Yes, I’d watched The Little Mermaid a thousand times, and yes, I was a fully grown woman, but that just didn’t matter.
As I sang along to Under The Sea, I realised I still loved it just as much as I had the first time I’d seen it. If not more.
My obsession with mermaids had started when I was just three. Ever since my mum had sat me down in front of the TV to watch the video 19 years ago, I’d been enthralled by Ariel’s gorgeous red hair and her shiny green tail.
‘When I grow up, I want to be a mermaid,’ I’d tell Mum.
I loved swimming, and would spend hours in the pool on a Saturday, pretending I was diving to the bottom of a crystal-blue sea, with crabs and fish as my friends.
Back on dry land, I’d turn my Barbie dolls into mermaids, dressing them up in tiny shimmery bras and tails that Mum had helped me to make using her sewing machine.
I’m pretty sure my family thought I’d grow out of my obsession and, for a while when I hit my teens, I tried to push my love of mermaids to the back of my mind. It’s just babyish, I’d tell myself firmly. I knew if anyone at school found out, I’d be teased mercilessly.
But back at home, where I could be myself, I loved nothing more than curling up under a blanket with a cup of tea and a biscuit to watch my mermaid films.
Eventually, I admitted my secret to my best friend Lizzi. She knew practically everything about me anyway and it felt good to share it with her.
‘That’s so cool!’ she said, when I showed her my collection of dolls and my stack of mermaid-themed movies, such as H2O: Just Add Water and Splash.
‘But please don’t tell anyone,’ I warned. I couldn’t bear the shame of being found out.
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January 28, 2019