Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?
Born Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón in Mexico City, Mexico, Frida Kahlo is one of the most passionate artists of her time, and continues to be a cultural influencer and womanist icon as we celebrate her life and legacy. Her surrealist imagery has captivated the world as it shows a woman in deeply personal way and deeply in touch with her physical and spiritual, a concept the world is desperately fearful of seeing in women. Her likeness has been manufactured on countless insignias and tokens of celebration (and appropriation), as we continue to uplift her womanhood. I find myself in Frida through our mutual desire to love hard and be loved even harder. Others find themselves in Frida through her autobiographical work related to her inability to have children or her accident, and yet others find themselves through her stance on women’s sexuality. Even her comedic and mischievous demeanor has created many Frida fans, as she was known to be quite the prankster!
Frida is women’s history, because of her very critical paintings of herself, her clothing choices, and her overall persona in how she felt about and spoke of herself. Frida did not receive much recognition for her work during her lifetime (instead she lived in the shadow of Diego), but received much praise after her death. Her most famous works include “The Two Fridas” and “The Broken Column” where she paints her emotions, her physicality, and the taboo topics surrounding her life.
Seen often in a very traditional Mexican dress and floral headpieces, Frida showcases the matriarchal roles embedded within Mexican culture, while her masculine features such as her unibrow show the fluidity in her sexuality, a message to be preached long before its time. She was also the first 20th century Mexican artist to have a painting, “The Frame,” purchased by the Louvre museum.
Frida is hynopsis. She is the fierceness that the modern women continues to look to for inspiration, comfort, and culture. Frida acknowledges and identifies that it is ok to be hurt. It is ok to be angry, and it is ok to have a freaking unibrow. It is also ok not to be everyone’s cup of tea, because you are not a woman that only exists for the appeasement of others.
It is also ok not to be everyone’s cup of tea, because you are not a woman that only exists for the appeasement of others.
My Dearest Frida,
Thank you for allowing us to hold space in your legacy, as we lift up your name and your fearlessness in living. Thank you for being a cultural icon in your own right. For being an intersectional feminist before it was the cool thing to do. And for being an outspoken, passionate, intellectual, and brazen nasty woman. As the political climate of our current world shifts, we look to women of the past to stand behind. Frida continues to be one of those women, not only because of her immense talent, but because of her ability to shine in the face of adversity, and be her bold self. Frida speaks to our physical and our psychological selves through her surrealist renditions of her life and her environment. Frida speaks to the fluidity of sexuality and sensuality through her uninhibited self. And Frida also speaks to the importance of the selfie altogether, body positivity, and becoming comfortable with your intricacies. She is true #goals, and we will continue to celebrate her life, her works, and her light.
For more of my love for Frida Kahlo, check out my ig @whtsuplauren.
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