The Harlem Mermaid AKA Cookie DeJesus became a mermaid as an escape from childhood abuse trauma.
Originally from Puerto Rico, she lived as a recluse for most of her life. After her son taught her how to use the internet, she began photoshopping herself into photos of mermaids. Shortly after, she met her soul mate, husband, and Mer-wrangler who sewed her her first tail by hand.
She has since become a part of the mermaid community, a body positivity hero, and most importantly, felt as beautiful as she ever has.
ILLUSTRATION BY IZZI VASQUEZ