BEIRUT: She was all over the international headlines last year, causing a sensation for facing down the famous Wall Street Bull, now she is in the headlines again at end 2018 for her move to face down the New York Stock Exchange -- meet the Fearless Girl statue, a bronze embodiment of female empowerment.
The pony-tailed elementary school Fearless Girl stands with her hands on her hips and jaw thrust forward proudly, just daring anyone, Beast or financial institution to take her on.
So far, the outcome has been off-the-charts popularity for the Girl in the media and life as a destination for top NYC photo-op, for women in particular, who gang around the statue to show their solidarity.
The Fearless Girl statue was first set up a year ago by State Street Global Advisors as part of an initiative to encourage companies to put more women on their corporate board of directors, but the point of the Girl as many see it, is relevant not only in the corporate world but in politics or anywhere that women are under-represented.
The female voting populace of Lebanon can no doubt relate considering the few numbers of women -- six approximately - who are members of the 128 member Parliament.
The Girl first appeared with no advance publicity – or a great deal of City permission – across from the venerable Bull, which is fitting. Go where you want, when you want.
After an initial stir of controversy and debate, the tenure of the statue was extended from the permitted two weeks to a year, and officials opted to announce the Girl would be reinstalled from Wall Street to directly across the NYSE. No one dare remove her permanently and send her to a warehouse at this point, often the fate of some statues.
Among those advocating for the statue to stay longer as a guest of the City was U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney, of New York's 12th congressional district, who wrote, "This statue has touched hearts across the world with its symbolism of the resiliency of women.”
New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, wrote a letter that supported keeping the statue in the financial district, noting, "Fearless Girl stands as a powerful beacon, showing women—young and old — that no dream is too big and no ceiling is too high."
She was removed several weeks ago in preparation for the move which was seamless and a plaque was left in her former footsteps announcing that this is where the Girl had stood and that she was now on the move around the corner to face down an even bigger icon.
Fearless Girl artist Kristen Visbal commented during the original March 7, 2017 installation, "I made sure to keep her features soft; she's not defiant, she's brave, proud, and strong, not belligerent.” She modeled the sculpture on various children but fashioned the final statue to be universally appealing, without any particular defining features. A child who would represent all children, “so everyone could relate to the Fearless Girl.”
The statue’s initial installation in early March last year coincided to approximately one-day before International Women’s Day.
During the move last week, Betty Liu, executive vice chairman of the stock exchange gave words of hello to this new NYC landmark, noting, "Welcome to the neighborhood, Fearless Girl. You're among friends here at the New York Stock Exchange."
Welcome to “Naya,” the newest addition to Annahar’s coverage. This section aims at fortifying Lebanese women’s voices by highlighting their talents, challenges, innovations, and women’s empowerment. We will also be reporting on the world of work, family, style, health, and culture. Naya is devoted to women of all generations — Naya Editor, Sally Farhat: Sally.email@example.com
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