Anyone who has seen the 1983 movie “A Christmas Story” knows well the scene where the father of the house wins a prize that arrives in a giant wooden crate.
The “major award” is a lamp shaped like a curvy, sexy woman’s leg with a fringed shade that looks like a skirt.
“It’s indescribably beautiful,” the father gushes after he plugs in the glowing gam. “It reminds me of the Fourth of July!”
Apparently his enthusiasm for oversized women’s legs isn’t shared by everyone in Lakeland, Fla., where a new public art exhibit includes an homage to that lamp.
A few folks think it’s an eyesore, “tacky” and not so “indescribably beautiful” — but mostly people seem to like it.
One guy posted on the city’s Facebook page: “Love this ... is it Fra-gee-lay?”
“Definitely Italian,” replied the city.
The sculpture, by Georgia artist Joni Younkins-Herzog, is called “I’ll Shoot Your Eye Out,” and it was, in fact, based on “A Christmas Story” —fishnets and all. It is one of 10 sculptures recently installed along the town’s downtown Lemon Avenue, according to WFLA in Tampa Bay.
It’s sexist, some women have complained on the city of Lakeland’s Facebook page.
The irony? The sculptor said she intended the piece to be a feminist statement.
“Oh no, that is sick. If that’s for real, I’m embarrassed to live in Lakeland,” one woman wrote.
“I don’t want to see that at Christmas, never mind every day,” wrote another woman.
“I’ve never liked the objectifying of a (woman’s) body part,” wrote yet another woman. “I get it’s part of a classic movie but it’s still not by taste. Didn’t like it in the movie, do not like it in the middle of my city.
“Let me take a wild guess and say that the panel who picked this out was mostly men.”
“It has more to do with being a woman in a predominantly masculine field,” she told Heat Street. “Feminist means female perspective as far as I am concerned. I take ownership of these stereotypical trappings of beauty, combined with the humorous context of the movie. It would not have happened if I had not enjoyed watching ‘A Christmas Story’ as a kid.”
She thinks it’s odd that “people would be so offended,” she said. “Our society and ads and TV are far more suggestive than a disembodied leg.”
Even though lots of people around town like the piece — “Well, you know, for a leg, it’s not bad,” one guy told WFLA — the city issued an apology to those who don’t.
“If people are offended by a leg, we really apologize,” Kevin Cook, director of communications for the city, told WFLA.