Mallow, the Abalone Merman, is the alter ego of Keenon Hooks, a California-based professional merman and choreographer. A ‘mersona,’ as defined in the mermaid community, is a persona adopted by those who portray mermaid or merman characters, complete with a unique name, aesthetic, and backstory. Mallow’s journey began in 2018 when inspired by a friend, he donned a tail for the first time and discovered a newfound love for embodying a merman.
A Magical Experience in the Mermaid World
Mallow describes his first swim as a merman as a magical experience that led him to fully embrace this unique form of expression. His commitment to the role was highlighted at the California Mermaid Convention, where he performed as a plus-size merman, challenging industry norms and encouraging greater diversity.
Facing Challenges with Positivity
While Mallow enjoys significant support from his family and friends, he has faced negativity and judgment online. Despite this, he remains focused on spreading a message of inclusivity and body positivity. Mallow emphasizes the importance of self-love and acceptance, challenging the typical perception of mermen as exclusively skinny, fit, and muscular.
Advocating for Diversity and Inclusivity
As a queer merman, Mallow’s presence in the mermaid community is not just about entertainment; it’s a statement against societal stigmas. His advocacy for body positivity and inclusivity serves as an inspiration, demonstrating that beauty and capability are not confined to traditional standards. Mallow’s journey and message resonate with many, proving that with self-acceptance and determination, anyone can pursue their passions and challenge stereotypes.