Everyone in life needs a role model, and mine happens to be this life-sized statue of an elephant named Petal, housed in a now-defunct New Jersey shopping mall.
One could argue that Petal is an inanimate object, as she happens to be made entirely out of fiberglass (although the statue is in fact, based off a real-life elephant at the Philadelphia Zoo). But I disagree. To me, Petal is more real than you or me—she represents life itself; art and the collective struggle against our ordinary circumstances; our desire to be free and rear your ol’ head back and high-five people with your trunk. Petal is very special, entirely selfless, and most importantly, strikingly beautiful, just like me—and with this blog, I am formally asking my editors at Jezebel to buy her for the staff.
What could be a better use of $3,000? In a match between other statues, Petal would handily beat Fearless Girl, as long as I was judging, and would probably tie with or come in second to the Statue of Liberty. At 11 feet tall, she would make a handsome addition to the Jezebel pod, and we could also ride her at any time.
Petal needs a new home because her first and only home, the Burlington Center Mall, is most likely going to be demolished; a spokesperson for Zenos Frudakis, the artist who created her, has said that she should be saved. “A public work of art like Petal should find a home where it can be enjoyed [...] A public work that brought so much joy to so many people deserves to have another life.”
According to NBC Philadelphia, the mall owner says that they’ll give Petal away for free if a buyer agrees to cover the removal and shipping. It is a great opportunity for a zoo or public park to step up and do the right thing and give Petal a new home—but if my editors at Jezebel also wanted to spare $3,000, it would also be a great opportunity for us to get a new mascot and a way to bring joy into our lives, every day, for a relatively small price.