The Most Influential Person of 2017

SHE ARRIVED ON A STRANGELY warm March evening in New York earlier this year. She was loaded off her truck and fixed opposite a thirty-year-old statue of a charging bull. She was the brainchild of advertising agency McCann and State Street Global Advisors. She was five feet tall, and she had the same proactive attitude as every other girl in New York. She had hair blowing in the wind, she wore a T-shirt and a skirt, she wore sneakers. She was just like every other girl in New York.

Except she could not move.

The "Fearless Girl", a statue aimed at promoting the power of women in leadership, sculpted by Kristen Visbal, was unveiled the following morning, and the news media poured down on her. She got crowned with anti-Trump pink hats. She was the #1 trending topic on all social media. Many people knew and heard her message. She was initially only meant to stay for a week. But a week became a month, and a month became a year. Nira Desai even started a petition to make her permanent.

New York's innocent, imaginative children welcomed the new girl on Wall Street, and started the trend of the "right" way to get your picture made with her - linking arms with the statue, whose hands were permanently bound to her hips.

(Above: kids mimic the "Fearless Girl"'s gesture in March 2017.)

Fearless Girl became the symbol of the resistance to the anti-female sentiment President Donald Trump was promoting. She became the most popular girl in New York. Everyone knew her, everyone stopped to talk, but she didn't talk back.

Though some of the children of New York still say she could talk back, but she didn't want to.

"Kids and their imaginations", thought many New Yorkers, until one day, May 6, as the bell rang at the New York Stock Exchange just down the street, a crowd gathered again where the statue stood, a crowd whose likes had not been seen since the statue was erected. People of all ages and all occupations crept in for a look.

But there was nothing to see. Fearless Girl had vanished.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio soon heard about the goings-on and arrived in his limo to check up on things. Murmurs of "Where's Fearless Girl?" persisted as he drove up. De Blasio left his car and approached the crowd. "Does anyone know anything about this?" De Blasio inquired to the gathered masses, upon seeing with his own eyes the absence of the statue.

"I do," said a 13-year-old girl, with radiant fire-colored hair, quickly running down Broadway and into the crowd. Mayor de Blasio called the girl to his side. "Please tell me what you did with the statue," he insisted.

"I'm sorry, you must be mistaken," said the girl. "I am the statue."

Most adults present laughed. Yet most children, especially the smallest ones, listened to the girl, who identified herself as Shea Mentzer, tell her story, as did a curious Mayor de Blasio. According to Mentzer, she had stood for nearly two months on Wall Street opposite the charging bull, calling out to young girls on the street. "Why?" asked an inquisitive young child. "I needed to empower a young girl and win my humanity," Mentzer explained. Mentzer related that about two weeks ago, she'd called out to yet another young girl, but unintentionally attracted the attention of a 13-year-old boy.

Mentzer told that this 13-year-old boy had listened to her desires and her explanation that she needed to be an inspiration for a young girl's confidence, and if she did, she would become a human girl. "Ari (the boy) pried me up and he took me to his apartment on 4th and Avenue of the Americas," Mentzer explained, "and he took me to school the next day, being sure to keep me out of sight. That's when Ari met his teammate on the school quiz bowl team, a little girl named Dakota Severn."

Mentzer continued her story, saying that she and the boy realized Severn, who described herself as "timid, weak, and unmotivated", was the girl she needed to empower in order to gain her humanity. "I spent a few days in Ari's apartment, listening in on Ari and Dakota studying, but one night Ari told me he didn't see the confidence in Dakota that I needed for my humanity. He put me back on Wall Street the next morning."

"Tears," Mentzer said, "ran down my bronze body all day. But that night, I was still crying a little when I felt this strange tingling sensation. My bronze began to chip and tear, and triumphantly, I put my best foot forward, and it moved. I don't know how I knew where the TV studio they were doing the quiz bowl at was, but I just bolted where my feet took me. As I stepped inside, I heard Dakota giving a rousing speech. She was vowing that she wouldn't let her confidence plummet during the trying teenage years. Then the audience got angry and started to yell at her. I opened the door to the studio, and urged everyone to listen to Dakota. She answered the last question correctly, like the unstoppable girl that she is, and won her team the quiz bowl. Soon, she and Ari found me a young couple to be my mom and dad."

Here Mentzer concluded her story, and she turned to the mayor, saying, "It's true. I am the Fearless Girl."

The general consensus among the adults of New York City is that the disappearance of the Fearless Girl will never be explained, but to the children of the city, Shea Mentzer spoke the truth. Every child in New York now recognizes her as their former statue. And it's not just the kids. Many women, especially feminists, revere Mentzer, saying that the world is brighter with their feminist symbol as a truly human, and truly fearless, girl.

Mentzer's closest friends, the aforementioned Ari Bellum and Dakota Severn, are supportive, and, being first hand witnesses to the Fearless Girl's unbelievable evolution into a human girl, confirm her story and persuade doubters to believe her.

And with this said, I am proud to present the Most Influential Person of 2017 to the girl who, it is said, was no more than a slab of metal in January, but is a happy 13 year old in December. Congratulations to Shea Mentzer - your influence this year, and the tale among those who support you, is truly beyond belief. Shea Mentzer, you were the most influential person of 2017, from idea, to feminist symbol, to fire-haired 13 year old.

And what does Mentzer say to this honor, looking into 2018?

"Whatever comes, I'm not afraid," she says when asked.

The most influential person of 2017

Note: This image is actually Shea McHugh, an actress who I'm sure would be honored to be "enacting" Shea Mentzer on my blog.


  1. I enjoyed your intro to Fearless Girl and I can’t wait to read the adventures she has as a real girl. She’d make a great comic book character!

  2. Can you put links on the scripts page that show the commercials that inspired you?

  3. Your narrative is ingenious and piques my interest in Fearless Girl and what her future holds! She is sure to inspire other girls to follow her example. Looking forward to reading about all that she can be!

  4. Your "Fearless Girl" story has a fascinating rhythm that I suspect matches the very beat of her heart. She embodies leadership ideals to take girls and women into the exciting future now before them. I join you in celebrating and honoring Fearless Girl as your 2018 Woman of the Year!


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