Tina Kakadelis
YA Author


Burn Before Reading: A Carly Allen Story

Fearless Girl


So, there's a charming statue on Wall Street across from that ridiculous charging bull statue. It's of a little girl standing tall and proud facing the bull head on. The artist's name is Kristen Visbal and it was installed on March 7, just in time for International Women's Day. The dude who made the bull statue is pissed because it changes whatever he was saying with the massive bull statue. (I know what he was trying to say. He put it up after the stock market crash back in 1987 as a sign of resilience. Let me be a little sassy.) However, why does this dude have a say if he installed his own statue in the middle of the night without a permit?

Here's what I think; art is meant to adapt and grow. Is something that's stagnant even considered art at all? Wow, that was pretentious. But I'm serious. The best type of art, whether it be paints or written words, stand up to the test of time. That's the point, y'know? It's why people can see Hair in 2017 and it's still relevant. It's why Tennessee Williams wrote about the truth of his day and it's still the truth of today. (I don't know why dumb books like The Scarlet Letter are still relevant, so I'm going to chalk that up to some old white dude nonsense.)

The bull can still stand for resilience, but so can the girl. Tell me, what is so bad about the charging bull changing artistically? It's still loved and appreciated. Tour buses still stop to take pictures. It's like an editor for a writer. (I can speak about this because I have an editor that is too good to me. Also, I'm eyeing a new Lord Huron album at work, so plz buy my book.) An editor who is there to take the words and sort through them to make something stellar.

It's like that part of Josie and the Pussycats where Josie, Valerie, and Mel are getting their makeover montage. There's a whole bunch of people buzzing around cutting the girls' hair, styling their clothes, and doing their make-up. The song is about to end and Josie's sitting in the haircut chair when this random lady shows up. This movie's like 15 years old and I still don't know who she is and why she wasn't in the makeover montage. But she comes into the frame and pulls the last curler out of Josie's hair and BOOM. Josie's officially ready.

Maybe that's how we should be looking at this charging bull/fearless girl scenario. Charging Bull was the people buzzing around during the makeover scene and the Fearless Girl was that rando pulling out the hair curler. Both are important in their own right, but together make something that stands taller and prouder and more resilient on their own. (Josie and the Pussycats is relevant and applicable to everything. You can quote me on that. Plaster it on a billboard.)

Here's the thing. I get that you don't want your art to change. You have a vision and it sucks when it's different from what you thought. If you move past that, though, I want to know if he would care if a man was put up to face the bull. It's not far-fetched to assume. Women have to see themselves in men. Just look at pop culture. If women want triumphant stories of superheroes, we have to try and find ourselves in a million different revivals of Superman or Batman or Spider-Man. Men have never had to do that. They have seen themselves as astronauts, scientists, doctors, liars, cheaters, heroes, villains, and anything they could possibly fathom. When they're forced to relate women, they throw the biggest fits.

Just take a look at the 2016 Ghostbusters. It's a fun, charming movie that brings newness to the old franchise while staying true to the heart of the original. Is it the best movie ever? No. But does it deserve to be the lowest-rated movie trailer on YouTube? No! Why is it like that? Why can't men find themselves in women?

People are people. Regardless of gender or race or religion, there are things that make us all the same. It's why someone who has had their heart brutally broken can write about it, and even though you didn't experience that person's relationship, the words can make help you sense of your own relationship. Maybe you don't look like that girl standing up to a massive bull almost three times her height. I'm a girl and I don't look exactly like her, but it's the image of what she's standing up for that bridges all of the things that make us different. She looks like all of us.