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Little Mermaid fans are spoofing ‘Part of Your World’ on TikTok

A new filter makes it look like they’re bursting from the sea

Halle Bailey with Ariel’s green fin and red hair singing while looking up from the bottom of the ocean in The Little Mermaid Image: Walt Disney Pictures
Nicole Clark (she/her) is a culture editor at Polygon, and a critic covering internet culture, video games, books, and TV, with work in the NY Times, Vice, and Catapult.

The live-action Little Mermaid has given many of us nostalgia for the simpler times of childhood, when we could relate to being a yearning mermaid ready to walk along the shore. But it’s TikTokers who are now doing modern-day dress up, and using a new filter called water surface — which creates the effect of being in a shimmery, reflective pool of water — to perform Ariel’s famous “Part of Your World” song.

The trend emerged at the end of May, around when the film came to theaters. TikTokers donned red wigs, set the water surface filter, and did their best “mermaid bursting from the sea” impressions to Halle Bailey’s rendition of the song. The dance moves on display usually involve randomly bursting up through the fake waves (thank you, TikTok filters) with wild motions, in time with key parts of the song, including... showing feet.

Another TikToker simply spoofed how hard it would be to actually stay swimming, which is relatable.

An inspiring number of people did this trend with their pets instead, which I enjoyed — even if it feels a little Facebook era, early 2000s viral. Cats, in particular, never look happy to be there, clout-chasing for their parents. But the internet wants what it wants, and toe beans are always good. It must be the nostalgia of the song and the movie it makes me think of — I guess I’m yearning for simpler times.


‍♀️ littlemermaid frenchie dogsoftiktok funnydog

♬ Part of Your World - From "The Little Mermaid" - Halle

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