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Aquamermaid Academy 05
Montreal, Quebec
By Valerian Mazataud
07 Feb 2015

In February 2015, Marielle Chartier-Henault, an underwater model with a Bachelor in Business, has opened the Aquamermaid Academy where people of all ages can learn to become a mermaid.

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Aquamermaid Academy 06
Montreal, Quebec
By Valerian Mazataud
07 Feb 2015

A dozen children, mainly girls and one boy from 9 to 12, enjoyed their first ever mermaid training at the Aquamermaid Academy in Montreal.

"It was fantastic," 11-year-old Lily said. "I swim a lot, so it's not that difficult. It's demanding, but fun, even though it feels weird to have both legs attached together."

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Aquamermaid Academy 07
Montreal, Quebec
By Valerian Mazataud
07 Feb 2015

A dozen children, mainly girls and one boy from 9 to 12, enjoyed their first ever mermaid training at the Aquamermaid Academy in Montreal.

"It's fun because it's new and feels different from usual," nine--year-old Noemie said. "I watched the Ariel cartoon a lot."

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Aquamermaid Academy 08
Montreal, Quebec
By Valerian Mazataud
07 Feb 2015

A dozen children, mainly girls and one boy from 9 to 12, enjoyed their first ever mermaid training at the Aquamermaid Academy in Montreal.

"I really wish I was born a siren," 11-year-old Lauriane said, "then here I was one."

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Aquamermaid Academy 09
Montreal, Quebec
By Valerian Mazataud
07 Feb 2015

A dozen children, mainly girls and one boy from 9 to 12, enjoyed their first ever mermaid training at the Aquamermaid Academy in Montreal.

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Aquamermaid Academy 11
Montreal, Quebec
By Valerian Mazataud
07 Feb 2015

Around 15 wannabe mermaid, mainly female and two males from 19 to 46, enjoyed their first ever mermaid training at the Aquamermaid Academy in Montreal.

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Aquamermaid Academy 10
Montreal, Quebec
By Valerian Mazataud
07 Feb 2015

Participants use a realistic mermaid tail, with a plastic monofin at the end of a tight spandex skirt. This new activity which combines a common childhood fantasy and fitness, allows students to learn everything from the basic dolphin kick to choreography.

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Aquamermaid Academy 13
Montreal, Quebec
By Valerian Mazataud
07 Feb 2015

Around 15 wannabe mermaid, mainly female and two males from 19 to 46, enjoyed their first ever mermaid training at the Aquamermaid Academy in Montreal.

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Aquamermaid Academy 12
Montreal, Quebec
By Valerian Mazataud
07 Feb 2015

Around 15 wannabe mermaid, mainly female and two males from 19 to 46, enjoyed their first ever mermaid training at the Aquamermaid Academy in Montreal.

"For me it's a little girl's dream," Veronique Gingras, 37, said. "When I was younger, I would pretend to be a mermaid in my swimming pool, so, when I heard about this and the possibility of trying to be a mermaid, I was very curious. I really enjoyed it even though it was my first time using a mono-fin. You feel all your body working, shoulders and arms especially."

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Aquamermaid Academy 03
Montreal, Quebec
By Valerian Mazataud
07 Feb 2015

Two mermaids-in-training swim dive underwater at the Aquamermaid Academy in Montreal. This new activity which combines a common childhood fantasy and fitness, allows students to learn everything from the basic dolphin kick to choreography.

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Aquamermaid Academy 01
Montreal, Quebec
By Valerian Mazataud
07 Feb 2015

Around 15 wannabe mermaid, mainly female and two males from 19 to 46, enjoyed their first ever mermaid training at the Aquamermaid Academy in Montreal.

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Aquamermaid Academy 04
Borkou,Chad
By Valerian Mazataud
07 Feb 2015

Around 15 wannabe mermaid, mainly female and two males from 19 to 46, enjoyed their first ever mermaid training at the Aquamermaid Academy in Montreal.

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Aquamermaid Academy 16
Montreal, Quebec
By Valerian Mazataud
07 Feb 2015

Around 15 wannabe mermaid, mainly female and two males from 19 to 46, enjoyed their first ever mermaid training at the Aquamermaid Academy in Montreal.

"Since I was very little I dreamt of being a mermaid," said Elizabeth Miller, 23. "That was amazing, I really felt I was one, but it would have helped if I had been a better swimmer."

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Aquamermaid Academy 17
Montreal, Quebec
By Valerian Mazataud
07 Feb 2015

Around 15 wannabe mermaid, mainly female and two males from 19 to 46, enjoyed their first ever mermaid training at the Aquamermaid Academy in Montreal.

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Aquamermaid Academy 18
Montreal, Quebec
By Valerian Mazataud
07 Feb 2015

Around 15 wannabe mermaid, mainly female and two males from 19 to 46, enjoyed their first ever mermaid training at the Aquamermaid Academy in Montreal.

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Aquamermaid Academy 19
Montreal, Quebec
By Valerian Mazataud
07 Feb 2015

Around 15 wannabe mermaid, mainly female and two males from 19 to 46, enjoyed their first ever mermaid training at the Aquamermaid Academy in Montreal.

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Aquamermaid Academy 20
Montreal, Quebec
By Valerian Mazataud
07 Feb 2015

Two "mermaids" pose for a photo. Around 15 wannabe mermaid, mainly female and two males from 19 to 46, enjoyed their first ever mermaid training at the Aquamermaid Academy in Montreal.

"It's been a dream for me ever since the little mermaid came out I guess," said Jessica Palmer, 24. "It's definitely up to my standards and it didn't crush my dreams. I'm definitely planning on buying a tail and a mono-fin. I'm an artist and I made a mermaid tail sculpture, so this is kind of research. It's very challenging, you use muscles you didn't even know you had !"

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Aquamermaid Academy 15
Montreal, Quebec
By Valerian Mazataud
07 Feb 2015

Around 15 wannabe mermaid, mainly female and two males from 19 to 46, enjoyed their first ever mermaid training at the Aquamermaid Academy in Montreal.

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Aquamermaid Academy 14
Montreal, Quebec
By Valerian Mazataud
07 Feb 2015

Around 15 wannabe mermaid, mainly female and two males from 19 to 46, enjoyed their first ever mermaid training at the Aquamermaid Academy in Montreal.

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Aquamermaid Academy 02
Montreal, Quebec
By Valerian Mazataud
07 Feb 2015

Marielle Chartier-Henault, founder of Aquamermaid, poses with her 'tail.'
In February 2015, Chartier-Henault, an underwater model with a Bachelor in Business, has opened the Aquamermaid Academy where people of all ages can learn to become a mermaid.

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iDollators: The Lives and Loves of Me...
Detroit, Toledo, Chicago
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
17 Dec 2014

FULL TEXT OR INTERVIEW AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

IDollators, a colloquial way of referring to people who find companionship with dolls, have communities throughout the United States and create links with other groups around the world, in Russia, Japan, Canada and Europe. This has become a world phenomenon. They share ideas, visions, fears, and above all their love for these Silicon dolls made by specialized companies for the hefty price of around six thousand dollars each.

Terry, a retired Navy man, once married with children, now lives with his silicone Doll called Feodora. She was built in Vladivostok Russia by a Russian company who specializes in the making of Anatomical Dolls like Terry's.

Davecat (he prefers to be identified by his online handle in a popular Doll Forum) has two silicone dolls, one he considers as his wife, Sidore Kuroneko, made in Japan, and the other his mistress, Elena Vostrikova, made in Russia. Both share his life inside his small Detroit apartment.

Some iDollators save their money for years in order to acquire a life size companion. Once acquired, owners have different uses for their newfound love. While most do have sex with the doll on a regular basis, some do not, and only seek companionship and care through this lifeless body.

Terry is not the typical doll owner: he does not have sex with it. Rather, Feodora keeps him company while perfecting his long time hobby: photography. Davecat, however, has regular sex with his mistress and wife dolls.

Often referred to by their first names, the dolls can be seen publicly as their owners take them along for day to day leisure activities.

After a difficult relationship with a woman, John opted for a drastic change in his romantic life and bought Jackie, a life-like doll made in California. He takes her everywhere, but preferably to the Zoo and to his favorite restaurant, where the owner and his workers are happy to accommodate him and Jackie to their favorite meal.

Is this new phenomenon a sign of the things to come in a ‘modern’ global civilization where individualism reigns supreme over traditional family values? These individuals who prefer to give love to a silicone body over a real human are perhaps direct proof that humans were never meant to live their lives alone, but to share what life has to offer with others.

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Street Performer
Sunny Beach
By Ralf Falbe
10 Aug 2014

Street performer in the evening at Sunny Beach, Bulgaria.

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Sci-Fi Costume
Rotterdam
By Ralf Falbe
28 Jul 2012

Rotterdam, 28.07.2012, Man in a science fiction style costume at the Summer Carnival in Rotterdam, Netherlands