In Hawaii, one woman is turning heads as she swims through the ocean with an incredibly life-like mermaid tail; but her appendage isn’t just an accessory, it’s a lifestyle.
Kari Roberts has always dreamed of being a mermaid and she made her dream come true in 2009 when she spent 400 hours constructing her first mermaid tail to turn her childhood fantasy into an adult reality, launching a career performing as the magical under water creature.
When her tail is on, Kari goes by the name Mermaid Kariel, and she shares that her magnificent tail has helped her overcome self confidence issues and she hopes she can use her tail to help other girls feel confident and beautiful too.
Magical mermaid: Kari Roberts always wanted to be a mermaid and she made her dream come true after moving to Hawaii and constructing her first handmade tail in 2009
Under the sea! When the tail is on she goes by Mermaid Kariel and performs shows twice a week on beaches and in pools in her regal tails, displaying majestic underwater tricks
Swift swimmer: Her social media is filled with videos and photographs that reveal her sweeping the ocean’s sandy floor and swimming with her eyes open in the turquoise waters
Her mermaid obsession started when she was just three years old, and her family encouraged her to pursue her dreams. However, they never anticipated that it would turn into an adult career.
‘I made mermaid costumes with my grandmother and mother every year since I was three years old,’ she said.
‘It was a dream I longed for my whole life. I took action on my life and moved to Hawaii to become part of the sea and the “aloha spirit” that called to me,’ she explained on her first big step moving to a new state.
Years later she painted each scale and sewed together her first handmade tail to test out her fantasy – and it worked.
‘In 2009 I made my first swimmable mermaid tail. I had a deep calling to feel what it would be like to be a real mermaid amongst the fishes under the sea,’ she shared.
But for Kari, going underwater has a much deeper meaning that simply becoming a dream-like creature, it’s a way for her to overcome her history with low self esteem and negative confidence energy grappling with auditory processing disorder, a condition that takes her longer to process sigh and sound.
She explains that when under the water, she feels the most confident and powerful she’s ever felt.
‘I also love becoming my alter ego – a loud, funny confident fish compared to my natural shy, quiet demeanor,’ she explained.
She’s a fan! The book author signs an autograph and shares her career as a mermaid has improved her self-esteem and she hopes she can inspire other girls to be confident too
Fin time! Kari dives into the water to allow show attendants to feel her scaly tail in Hawaii
Come one, come all! For a beach appearance, a beach was packed with mermaid fans who gathered to meet Mermaid Kariel and witness her mystical tail and movements
Mer-friends! Kari isn’t the mermaid in the sea, in this shot she poses with her fellow mer-friends who like to dress in their own tails and also perform at shows
‘I love the message I can share with others with their full attention while they are in awe of the realistic fantasy sight they see,’ she added.
Now she works as Kariel the Mermaid performing twice a week in Hawaii at her own show.
‘I’m currently still performing twice a week in Hawaii at my own live show called “The Brave Mermaid Show” which helps kids and families obtain self confidence to make their lives and world a better place,’ she shared.
The beaches are packed with enthused fans to catch a glimpse of her water performances.
‘I love the way it feels to have fish follow me and make me part of their underwater world. I love continually reinventing and making the costumes and vision I imagine a mermaid to be,’ she added on her experience.
Now Kari has made headlines for her mesmerizing videos that see her swim in turquoise waters with her ethereal tails in blue, peach, and pink – that she’s made herself. Her 149,000 Instagram followers fawn over her clips that see her swim along the ocean floor and through schools of fishes.
Her social media photos reveal the fit mermaid lounging on the beach, flicking her tail, and even posing with her pregnant belly earlier this summer in anticipation of her ‘merbaby.’
‘When I look at my videos and images, my heart burns with passion and my soul calms and believes that there is more than life in this universe,’ she reflects on her career.
One with the fishes! The performer revealed that she feels more confident and beautiful than ever when she’s in her tail and her career makes her ‘heart burn with passion’ for life
Mama mermaid! Kari poses in her tail (left) and flaunts a pregnant belly from 2010 on social media. In another Instagram she shares a flick of her baby’s first week in 2011 (right) in a tail
Brave! She penned a story to encourage self esteem and self love called The Brave Mermaid
But not everyone perceives her that way. In fact at first, plenty of people thought she was crazy for her bizarre seashell bra costume and tail.
‘Before mermaids became somewhat normal to see, people used to scream in either fear or delight because they thought they saw a real mermaid,’ she explained.
‘Some people cry, but the mermaid really seems to inspire a glow in everyone,’ she added.
She’s inked her experience in her book The Brave Mermaid, hoping to teach young readers about self confidence.
‘You know writing this makes me feel so full. I’m really making a difference and doing what I’ve always wanted to do,’ she shared.
‘I know with the power of self confidence, drive and persistence anything is possible,’ she said on her goals of her book and performances.
‘The key to life is just to be happy, if you finding your joy then joy will follow in your light,’ she added.
And she’s doing just that by giving hundreds of smiles to the packed crowds of children and parents that come to her poolside performances and shows.
While some people might still doubt the value of Kari’s career, she explains that each person has a wardrobe that makes them feel confident and able – hers is simply a tail.
‘Sometimes I almost feel like it’s a power suit. When it’s on my super power is to fix hearts and instill possibilities in those around me, which was always my dream,’ she shared.