‘I’m a professional mermaid – it’s dangerous and not as glamorous as it looks’

A professional mermaid revealed that the glamorous job doesn't always go so swimmingly – and can be "dangerous."

Mermaid Grace Page, 31, spends most of her time underwater thanks to her career portraying the mythical creature.

The water-loving businesswoman, from Reading, once was body-shamed for her career choice but found success after launching her own entertainment and training brand, Hire A Mermaid UK.

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Despite living out the dream of many young girls, Grace admitted her "favourite" place can be a murky one at times.

From her experience as a professional finned performer, she's run into a number of issues that can make the tank a "scary" place.

"The worst thing about being a mermaid is the damage it does to your skin and hairs, eyes…everything," Grace candidly revealed to us in the My Colourful Life video series.

"When I first started, I didn’t have a lot of that information and my hair got really damaged, my eyes got really damaged from swimming around in chlorine all the time.

"And not doing the proper aftercare afterwards to just rinse my eyes out with clean water, and while that works in a pinch, you actually really need to be using saline solution and moisturising drops.

"I didn’t know any of this at the beginning so my eyes got really really dry and it kind of damaged my tear layer of my eyes."

When she first started, Grace damaged her hair and suffered eye irritation due to being exposed to chlorine frequently – made worse by not correctly following the aftercare procedures.

But, frazzled hair and sore eyes is the least of the worries for mermaids.

"Swimming with a monofin and free-diving are sports in their own right, being in a mermaid tail is no different and comes with a list of dangers as every sport does," she explained.

"You’re under water for long periods of time so there are risks of hypoxia and if you’re going too deep down you can get lung squeeze and ear squeeze.

"Even worse, ruptures from the pressure of the water.

"So there are lots of dangers to being a mermaid.

"And even just being on land because you’re trapped, you can’t move, you can’t walk so you can get trampled on, knocked over and people can take advantage of the fact you can’t move."

Grace shared how situations can get sticky – and she's even had to rescue a fellow mermaid when they got into trouble underwater.

She said that the experience was "scary".

"I have rescued someone from black out because if you train as a free diver, you’re trained in buddying and safety as well," Grace shared.

"I was safety-ing at a competition and somebody was pushing their dynamic distance. You look out for the signs of black out, you look out for their eyes – either fluttering or just being super wide – you look out for bubbles coming out of their mouth.

"They started to surface but then blacked out, so I had to rescue them and in the moment you just kind of kick in and do what you need to do, and then they’re breathing again.

"You then do the recovery steps and it’s all fine, then afterwards you’re like [gasp] that was scary.”

Although the eccentric career comes with some petrifying setbacks, Grace obviously loves what she does as a career.

She describes being underwater as one of her "favourite" places.

“The transformation process of becoming a mermaid is a process, I’m not going to sugar-coat it and say getting in the tail is the fun bit – because it’s not,” she explained.

“Especially a silicone tail is a lot of wriggling and a lot of effort and not very glamorous.

"But once you’re in, and you’re secure and then you have that moment of getting into the water. Suddenly this heavy heavy tail becomes an extension of yourself, it’s practically weightless in the water, they’re naturally buoyant.

"You have so much more propulsion with your kicks and your swim If you’ve done everything that I’ve talked about and your comfortable and safe in the water, it’s so quiet and everything stops.

"You go from feeling so cumbersome on the land in this huge tail that is constriction you and uncomfortable and it’s all taken away in a moment.

"Being under water is one of my favourite places to be."

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