Friday, 11 January 2019

Fearless Girl

     I think we've covered how much fun I had over the festive period. If this were a film, we would now cut to a montage of me crying, staying in bed, listening to Madness on repeat, having an eight hour bender with my Mum the day after my birthday, opening the fridge door & shrugging before closing it again, chain-smoking, staying up into the wee small hours and then an absolute storm surge of wine.

     And then, just at the end, before it fades to darkness, one other little image would creep in too. A little image of a little thing (no, not me). A small statue that I've never seen in person, probably never will. A tiny thing, a seemingly insignificant thing, a silent thing that nevertheless speaks to me and holds my hand in the bleakest of moments.

     Her. Fearless Girl. I love this figure so, so, so, so SO much. I love her, just for being her. I love her boot clad feet standing apart, her fists planted on her hips, her chest out, her chin jutted up, the calm defiance of her face. I love the way the billowing of her clothes suggests movement, the sway of her ponytail. I love how even with that susurration of a breeze doesn't distract from the fact that she is planted solidly, ready to take on whatever is coming at her.

     Then you do see what is coming at her, or perhaps considering taking her on. Older than her, bigger, stronger, heavier, seemingly more dangerous, unpredictable & ferocious, harder, more powerful. The Bull of Wall Street was there first, intended to represent all of those aggressive, macho tendencies, that need to overpower and conquer, to be ruthless and feared.

     This girl came along with her response. To stand in front of something meant to intimidate her, something she can have no hope of defeating, and her response is instead to stand her ground and with every fibre of her being say simply 'I am here.' In contrast to her small, slight frame, the bull now looks clumsy, dull witted and lumbering, his body turned as if he's no longer ready to charge, but is weighing up his options as this girl stands there and says 'I am not afraid of you.'

     And somehow I know with absolute certainty that if he did decide to run at her, she would prevail. Either he would screech to a halt at the final moment or she would neatly sidestep – possibly even with an arm flourish of faux-politeness – and again, he would be the wrong-footed one, not this bold girl facing down the world with no hint of fear, her dress rippling, hair swinging, her boots linking her to the position she defends. For all of her lack of stature, she is stronger than than the Statue of Liberty, because she has freed herself of gestures and of being scared. You could bounce rocks off her, but I doubt you'd even consider it.

     I love her. She's become iconic, and I also appreciate she's been controversial too. Even as I write this, despite what I've just written about her refusal to back down and move away, she is, ironically, doing just that very thing and will no longer be facing her formidable foe. No pasa nada. She'll still be out there somewhere, that spirit and blithe determination living on, inspiring and encouraging others to follow her lead. Her beauty lies not in her face, but in her power, not in her size, but in her strength.

     When it comes to fearsome vs fearless, I'll always back fearless. For she is small but mighty.

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