Photo: Etsy

A mermaid blanket is many things: knitted flesh prison, half of an actual blanket, not enough fabric attached to extra pointless fabric, and malfunctioning scarf. My roommate called it, “Etsy’s answer to a straightjacket.” But a straightjacket just for your legs? Who needs that.

Apparently a lot of people do because the trend pieces keep coming down the holiday wishlist industrial complex pipeline, although they’ve somewhat tapered off in the last year, or so I thought.

I reached my limit when, on Sunday, an article was published at The Guardian called “Mermaid Blankets—This Year’s Answer to the Onesie.” Excuse me, what? Not only do onesies not have to answer for anything ever, but they are perfectly fine each year. A onesie is also functionally very different from a mermaid blanket, because it keeps you completely warm and mobile. If anything, I’d compare the mermaid blanket to pants.

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Mermaid blankets have been around for a little while, but, as the article explains, they are really blowing up right now in Britain.

“The online fast-fashion retailer [Blue Vanilla] has already sold more than 11,000 Ariels at £29 a pop, and has a waiting list of roughly 1,000 people. Online marketing manager Teresa Ktistaki predicts another 6,000 could be sold before Christmas. ’It’s a nice gift because it’s useful but also fun,” she says of the product, which was originally launched in October.’”

You might argue this is just a fun product for kids, but many of the mermaid blankets sold on Etsy are marketed for adults, and, anyway, they don’t keep kids warm either.

The Guardian article also compares mermaid blankets to a previous piece-of-fabric trend called the “slanket,” which, I’ll admit, I had to look up. It’s a sleeping bag with arm holes.

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What ever happened to just buying one nice blanket?