I’m mindlessly scrolling through Instagram when an image jumps out from the blur of “shoefies” (shoe selfies), inspirational quotes and sponsored posts. It’s a photo of a mermaid on a beach, perched on the sand in front of a backdrop of clear blue ocean waves.
She is a fairy-tale vision in embellished ivory, complete with dramatic bell sleeves and a tail. I swipe left and reality sinks in. This is a digitally enhanced image – in the original, the woman is wearing a plain, one-piece swimsuit: unremarkable and unmemorable.