New York City’s iconic ‘Fearless Girl’ statue has a moving new look in memory of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
On Friday evening, the heartbreaking news of Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death broke. Almost instantaneously, tributes to the trailblazer’s life began to spring up across the United States — from a makeshift memorial on the Supreme Court steps to countless homages on social media. And now, a particularly fitting (and poignant) tribute has come to light: New York City’s ‘Fearless Girl’ statue currently wears a white lace collar in a nod to RBG.
The visage of Fearless Girl in Ginsburg’s statement-making accessory appeared in an ad placed in the Sunday edition of the New York Times by Boston-based investment fund State Street Global Advisors. Above the image, the ad read, “Here’s to the original.”
The statue, sculpted by artist Kristen Visbal, has been a popular attraction in lower Manhattan since its installation on International Women’s Day in 2017 opposite Wall Street’s bull statue. She now stands outside of the New York Stock Exchange.
State Street Global Advisors originally commissioned the statue as a way to push for more women on the boards of the companies they invest in. “We created Fearless Girl to inspire and promote women in leadership,” the fund’s president and CEO Cyrus Taraporevala said in a statement on Monday. The lace collar, they felt, was a fitting way to acknowledge “the remarkable life and legacy of Justice Ginsburg.”
Collars have become synonymous with Justice Ginsburg’s service over the years, one of the innumerable ways she stood for female empowerment. “You know, the standard robe is made for a man because it has a place for the shirt to show, and the tie,” she told the Washington Post in 2009. “So Sandra Day O’Connor and I thought it would be appropriate if we included as part of our robe something typical of a woman. So, I have many, many collars.”
In 2014, Ginsburg told Katie Couric that her favorite was a simple, white lace collar from South Africa… much like the one modeled by Fearless Girl today.
Ginsburg was 87 at the time of her death on Friday due to complications from pancreatic cancer. A champion of gender equality, she became a cultural and feminist icon in her lifetime. Because, well, her list of accomplishments is lengthy and profound.
She was only the second female justice to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, and she did so for nearly three decades. Considered the architect of the legal fight for women’s rights, she proved instrumental in launching the American Civil Liberties Union’s Women’s Rights Project in 1973. She filed dozens of briefs seeking to give women equal protection of the law under the 14th Amendment.
The list goes on and on. In short, she changed the way the law looked at and treated women differently than men.
We have her to thank for many, many things. So, we can’t rightly think of anyone more fearless to honor than RBG — through a simple accessory on a statue, and through our actions as we move forward and continue her fight.