Almost all of my favorite holidays take place in the fall - Election Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Sukkot. However the big exception to this rule is the annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade which is a huge homegrown, homemade, very Brooklyn parade that is held the first weekend of the summer. Ostensibly the theme of the parade is mermaids, sea creatures, the ocean and a celebration of summer - all of which I love. It's also an excuse to get naked in public, which is also something I love. You can read more about it on wikipedia.
I've been going for years and I've marched for the past two years, but I've never been 100% happy with my costume until this year. This year I marched with a group of friends and our theme was Red Tide. Our cohesive aspect was that all of our costumes would be red, other than that we could wear/be anything we wanted. I freaked out a little over this because I don't own very much red and I couldn't come up with a costume idea. Two days before the parade my friend suggested I be a devil mermaid and I finally started to get behind my idea.
I quickly realized that while I don't own much red outerwear, it's a fairly prevalent color in lingerie drawer, and really I didn't need much more than that for my costume.
The base of my outfit - the matching bra and panties are from Lane Bryant and I've had them for years and I love them. I don't have enough matching bra and panties in my life, a true tragedy dear readers. I realize you can barely see my underwear because I wrapped a red feather boa (a long ago present) around my waste to liven up the outfit.
But a bra and underwear do not a mermaid or a devil make and most definitely not a devil mermaid, so I began to get crafty.
I made my mermaid tail from cellophane wrapping paper and a red plastic table cloth. I added some plastic sea kelp-esque plants to the tail so it looked a bit more underwater and I tacked on my store bought devil tail on top.
I made the devil ears myself using some foam from the local crafts store and I made the trident/pitchfork using some pipe cleaners. I hadn't used pipe cleaners in years - lord they're amazing.
My makeup and rhinestones were a group affair and for that I thank the fabulous members of the Red Tide. I never would have looked so good without ample amounts of assistance from them. Thanks for one of my favorite days of the summer.
The unseen hero of the day and perhaps the most important component of my outfit was copious amounts of Body Glide. Now I know when I first blogged about it I said I didn't know how it would fare for long periods of time and/or on a very hot day. Well the Mermaid Parade was both a loooong day and a hot day and I danced down the parade route with nothing between my legs and had zero chub rub at the end of the day. Body Glide is so my new best friend.
If interested, you can check out my large and (forewarning) completely unedited set of photos from the Mermaid Parade right here. I think this may be my very favorite one of the bunch.
Yay for mermaids, fun and fat body visibility all at once!