the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: Mermaids


This is my Facebook update Saturday night after I came home from the Coney Island Mermaid Parade:

Everyone is sexy and beautiful if they want to be. And even if they don’t want to be, they can’t help others from seeing it. Been thinking about that all night. Even I’m kinda sexy.


Maybe I wanted to make it clear that I appreciated the “body positive” vibe of the event. People strolled up and down the boardwalk in various stages of undress, and they didn’t do it for my “male gaze.” The creative folk did it for themselves. They love the opportunity to wear outrageous costumes and paint their bodies in oceanic colors.

I’m a tame voyeur.  I never gawk at sunbathers at the beach. I have never visited a strip club.   But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit the pleasure I received from admiring the stew of bodies on view on Saturday in Brooklyn — the big bosomed and the flat-chested, the tight abs and the big guts, the fleshy asses and the large male packages balled into tight-fitting speedos. It was sexy and fun. If I had more chutzpah, I would have taken off my own clothes and painted my ass green.

Is it so wrong that I enjoyed being a blatant voyeur for a few hours? The Mermaid Parade, much like I imagine Mardi Gras or Carnival, allows for a safe and playful expression display of the body. I felt comfortable talking to parade participants and asking permission for photos. When it rained, a whole bunch of us took shelter under the awning of Nathan’s, and soon I was dancing in the downpour with half-naked women. What could be better than that?

It’s easy to connect photography with voyeurism. We like looking at people.

Equal Pay for Fat Male Cheerleaders

Trying out for Florida Marlin Manatees

Att:  This post is a bit irrelevant now since Dagny told me in the comments how much female professional cheerleaders make:  50 bucks a game!  That is outrageous, considering what the players make.  Did anyone else know this?!

I believe in equal pay and equal rights.  That’s why I was immediately disturbed by this article about the cheerleading squads of the Florida Marlins.  The Marlins already have a traditional bunch of hot-babe cheerleaders, called the Mermaids.

Now, in the best “stunt” since Bill Veeck sent a midget to the plate, the Marlins are hoping to draw some crowd by introducing an all-male plus-size cheerleading squad called the Manatees.

Real manatees, 1,200-pound mammals sometimes referred to as “sea cows,” are not considered the most agile of creatures and often get caught in boat propellers.

The Marlins want their Manatees to have the same dimensions, but to be decidedly more agile. Men will be judged on how well they dance a choreographed routine.

It’s a funny idea.  After all, most “real” fans look like beer-drinking schlubs.  Why not promote Real Men?  This way, men can get some eye candy from the Mermaids and some fun from the Manatees.

Maybe this will even make cheerleading and dancing more acceptable to young men, so it doesn’t seem so “gay.”

But, there is a HUGE double standard going on here.

Men selected for the Manatees won’t be paid. They’ll get tickets to games they perform at, and the honor of dancing in front of crowds that have been smallest in major league baseball for the last two seasons.

WTF?!  Men, don’t do it!  I know it will be fun for you.  But for tickets to the game YOU PERFORM IN (I hope it ain’t the bleachers) and the HONOR?! You think the Mermaids are so stupid?  You think they are giving you that T&A for the HONOR of the dopey team?

Florida Marlin Mermaids 

They get PAID!  Don’t be suckers.  Men who shake their stuff should get the same compensation as women who do.

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