In the heat of the New York City summer, Gothamist associate editor Rebecca Fishbein and videographer Jessica Leibowitz spent a day in Coney Island, Brooklyn visiting the Mermaid School at World of Swimming. The skilled instructors at the school teach the students how to swim like a mermaid, a feat that requires a great deal of core strength, and in doing so, encourage self-confidence and pride. While speaking with Gothamist, Cookie DeJesus, the Harlem Mermaid, pronounced how good being a mermaid feels.
It helps me be me, to be free. No hangups, I don’t think about whether I’m fat, I’m skinny, I’m just a mermaid. And as a mermaid, I feel beautiful.
— Rebecca Fishbein (@bfishbfish) August 24, 2016