Monday, August 9, 2010

Mermaids and Oil Spills

Plus controversial images and story below:

Vogue Italia has shot a controversial 'oil spill inspired' fashion editorial, complete with models (in their very expensive oil-covered clothes) simulating animals in distress. The image below in particular made me think this is what mermaids might look like (albeit it 'glamorized' in horrible positions) if they were real and having to cope with the recent oil spill tragedy. There are many other images, one which I found rather disturbing (which kind of looked like a mermaid coughing up oil) so I'll just stick with the cover and the one above for the blog.

You may ask why I'm posting this, especially since I was bothered by the spread, and my answer is this: I think it's an important issue to think about. Not all stories are nice - not the real ones, not fairy tales - but they're still something we should consider. Imagine the little mermaid's journey complicated by such a disaster. It's not so far fetched from what's actually been happening. Stories can help us work through issues that are too difficult in real life to properly face and to consider the mermaid angle is, I think, good brain food. Does it distance the tragedy? Or does it make us more passionate in our efforts to protect the environment and the earth's creatures? Perhaps putting a human (albeit mermaid here) face on the victims* may make us more conscious of our actions in future. [*Note: the victims do in fact include humans - many have lost their homes and livelihoods as a result of the disaster, not to mention the initial tragedy of workers killed.]

I won't make any more personal comments except to say I completely get the controversy over this.

You can go HERE see the entire spread via and make sure to read the short post. Also note the links to help clean up and the comments written below by different points of view (neither are affiliated with Vogue Italia).

Via Super Punch.


  1. A fascinating post.

    As you know, originally, fairy tales were not stories for little girls.

    Their psychological value is that they can help people to glimpse their own shadow - the things that are in our own minds, and we don't want to know about - like that image.

    It's a few short steps from reading fairy tales, to Marie-Louise von Franz, and then to Jung, who asks some vital philosophical questions.

    Do you know that the name of that oil well, Macondo, actually comes from a book about gypsy magic. Wiki:

  2. This post really grabbed my attention. I'm so glad you used it. It just proves what I tell my students: Fairy tales can be related to anything.