Sea Goddesses and Mermaids~ August 5, 2018May 8, 2023 Amy Barstow It’s lobster festival week and if you are here in the Rockland/ Mid Coast area then unless you live under a rock you have heard about the “de-crowning” of this year’s Sea Goddess, Taylor Hamlin. Thought? Opinions? Rants? There have been many. I personally am in the “how could they do that to her camp?” but that is not why I am writing about it here. I am writing about it here because I am so impressed by this little girl’s (ok- sorry- she is 18, young woman’s) bravery and for the eloquence in which she stood up for herself- she wrote: “I just wanted to let everyone know that the lobster festival committee has taken me down from the sea goddess position due to members of our community emailing pictures of me through out high school. Everybody is a teen once and awhile. I’m sorry to whoever didn’t receive the goddess they wanted and felt the need to sabotage this amazing thing that has happened to me. You clearly don’t know me well enough or know the real Taylor Hamlin. I am active through out our community, in sports, church, and school. If you have negative opinions about their decision you should email them and tell them who I really am, what I stand for. Because I have truly never felt more swept under the rug. I will always be this years sea goddess in my heart and hopefully in all of yours. Thank you for all the congratulations because they truly do show me how many people are so supportive of me.” So- Does that mean I am going to boycott the festival? No. Why? Because there are a lot of people who are involved in the festival who don’t think this was the right choice and would have handled this differently and there are a lot of people who donate their time and energy in support of the festival and the Rockland Lobstering community and also as much as I hate to admit it I also do believe the committee that made the decision does have a point and this decision has a positive effect in that it can be used by parents everywhere to say “see— I told you that you have to be careful about what you post.” But —Taylor— I hope you know this- in my heart you will always be this years sea goddess as well and you are a role model to young girl’s in this community because of what you bring to the table and your example of strength and courage. You do not have to be perfect- you need to keep being you. Knowing that if this had happened to me at that age I would have curled up into a ball and felt horrible about myself I plan to take Taylor’s example of strength and confidence and store it away with other memories of strong admirable women and call upon it when I feel like I need to know in my heart I am a goddess… …or a mermaid— because it is August and who doesn’t want to be a mermaid in August? (and I don’t have any goddess shirts in the shop).