Ariel

artofelaineho-Ariel

What would I give to live where you are
What would I pay to stay here beside you…

When I was 20, I moved to the US. I had expected my assimilation to be an easy one – English was my first language and every almost material thing I consumed was American. I had a great deal of difficulty adjusting, with people making fun of my last name, and the strange obsession at how “other” I was. I was angry, I resisted change, but eventually I adapted.

My interpretation of Ariel’s story has changed as I’ve grown. I now greatly admire her courage to leave the world she knows behind and to explore a new one, without resistance or anger, but with curiosity and wonder.

In the original fairy tale, the little mermaid has her tongue cut out, constantly feels as if she’s walking on sharp knives, and her toes are bleeding. I also imagined that the splitting of her tail would have resulted in a scar on her inner thigh. It is quite a testament to her strength that she endures this pain while arriving into a world she knows little about. She did this alone.

If I were given that choice, I would not be as brave.

Ariel is the fourth in my Disney Women series.

Buy a print here.