Tuesday, September 13, 2011 , Updated 12:00 a.m., September 17, 2011
Giant bra sculpture busts into West Village on Saturday
A reality show contestant from Dallas is putting her best chest forward.
DALLAS The phrase “you can't strap a good woman down” has never been more true for North Texas woman Leslie Ezelle.
The mother of four couldn't be strapped down after she underwent radiation therapy for breast cancer. Following six painful surgeries, Ezelle shrugged off her hospital gown and confidently joined the set of HGTV's Design Star, a reality TV show for interior designers of which she was a cast member.
Now finished with the show, Ezelle still can't be stopped, as she's busy putting a 2,300 square-foot addition onto her house and acting as mom to four kids, three dogs, two cats, a turtle, and a hamster. And – oh yes – she's partnering with breast cancer research group Susan G. Komen® to debut a dramatic new sculpture that embodies the catchphrase, “You can't strap a good woman down.”
Because Ezelle is a living example.
Her larger-than-life personality explains why she'd go from hospital patient to reality star to breast cancer research advocate in less than a year. The sculpture she's championing is a 14-by-13-foot metal bra called “Ann-e Girl” a la the 1950s that will hang from a specially-designed tree in West Village on Saturday. The sculpture was designed by George Tobolowsky, a well-known artist in Dallas.
The bra is an outspoken addition to the urban retail center – perhaps like its talkative creator Ezelle – and is meant to make people stop and think about breast health issues. “Ann-e Girl is not going to be easily ignored,” said Courtney Arbour, marketing manager for Dallas County affiliate of Susan G. Komen. “She's a 13-foot bra. That's not something you'd normally see everyday.”
Ezelle seems the perfect spokeswoman. A former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader and now a gay woman in a two mom household, Ezelle is now one of the Komen foundation's biggest cheerleaders.
“Ann-e Girl” will be placed between the Landmark Magnolia Theatre and Mi Cocina in West Village on Saturday, and then she will “mysteriously” move in the middle of the night to various locations in the DFW area. “She literally has a life, and wherever she lands, it's kind of like a Where's Waldo,” Ezelle said. “We're making a documentary about her also. And businesses can buy a bra strap and put their name on [it].”
“Ann-e Girl” will eventually end up outside NorthPark Center in October, at the finish line of the Komen Dallas Race for the Cure. Then, she will “bust out of Texas” and travel to other states, Arbour said.
Bringing “Ann-e Girl” to life was a fitting task for Ezelle, who's a designer by trade. During Ezelle's time on Design Star, she was booted from the competition after judges disliked a kids' room she designed. Ezelle was equally as critical. “I thought my work was just not my best at all. It was wackadoodle,” Ezelle said. “[But] I do believe the overall decision to let me go was a mistake.”
She still hopes to have a television show someday, one that showcases the Dallas arts scene and her unique family. “My show is a real life modern family. Funny quirky, [it's] about the people in Dallas who happen to have two moms and a boatload of kids and animals.”
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