Just before International Women’s Day (March 8) in 2017, the statue of the Fearless Girl was installed at Bowling Green in New York City's Financial District. Facing the existing Wall Street Charging Bull, a plaque reading “Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference” lies safely at her feet. While the Bull represents financial prosperity and the assertiveness of Wall Street and the Stock Exchange, the Fearless Girl represents female leadership and gender diversity in the workplace.
The fact that the Fearless Girl was placed facing the Charging Bull is an important detail; it became a symbol of standing up to the status quo and finding courage instead of succumbing to submissiveness. Now, the Fearless Girl stands before the New York Stock Exchange (mostly due to the hordes of tourists that were clogging the streets surrounding Battery Park), a move that artist Kristen Visbal was perfectly fine with.
“I've always felt strongly that she can stand on her own,” she told CNN. “Her message goes far beyond the corporate environment,” she added.
On International Women’s Day 2018, a duplicate statue was put up in Oslo, Norway, staring down their parliament building, Stortinget.
Another installment of the Fearless Girl was just unveiled by Visbal herself in Federation Square in Melbourne (again, lining up with the upcoming International Women’s Day), and I doubt this is the last we’ll see of her. Back in April, Visbal told CNN that she was working on at least 25 limited edition Fearless Girl statue replicas, with a selling condition that buyers place them in public places like corporate campuses or educational facilities in order to continue to spread the message for gender equality.
“Many workplaces in Australia still have a long way to go in acting on gender equality and the impacts of this don't stop at work,” Maurice Blackburn CEO, Jacob Varghese, said in a press statement. “In unveiling Fearless Girl for the first time here in Australia we hope to establish a powerful reminder that we must continue to fight to change our workplaces for the better in delivering equality.”
Visbal originally modeled the statue after two specific children, but scaled back any definitive features to give the Fearless Girl a universal look and make her relatable to all. Visbal's hope is to eventually make jewelry and dolls and write children’s books featuring the Fearless Girl.
“She represents what any little girl could become,” Visbal said. “The message may have begun as a statement about Wall Street, [but the statue] has taken on a life of her own.”
The best part about the Fearless Girl spreading out? Watching real little girls pose next to her. Sure, it’s a tourist attraction and nearly Instagram bait at this point, but if I had to choose between having young girls stand in line for rides at Six Flags or stand in line for a Fearless Girl photo op, I think we all know which side I lean toward.
Is putting a Fearless Girl in every city too ambitious?