An empowered woman – empowered by no one other than her own strong, free will
We hear Frida Kahlo’s name everywhere – the woman who was the perfect blend of masculinity and feminity. The woman who lived life on her terms and grew up to be an iconic artist. We view Frida Kahlo as someone with a shroud of perfection – her life was more imperfect than any of ours, but she adamant to live it fully. Thats what her made her perfect.
Frida was born to in the outskirts of excel city to a German photographer and Mexican-American woman. While a clear blend of three different cultures, Frida associated most closely with her native birth place and drew inspiration from it for many of portraits and artwork in her later life.
The unfortunate events of Frida’s life shaped her persona, decisions and had a profound influence on her artwork. At the tender age of 6, Frida was diagnosed with polio and was bedridden for almost 9 months. Even though she recovered fully, her right leg was left thinner than her left – this situation is what led to Frida’s iconic style. Her penchant for long, beautiful dresses stemmed from the insecurity of having differently shaped legs; she wanted to conceal the gap.
Frida knew that she was different and while she concealed her deformity, she rebelled against what societal norms considered deformities to be. She refused to shaver wax her armpits, unibrow or moustache. She proudly all her bodily and facial hair not only in real life but also in her paintings. She was proud of what her body naturally had and was not willing to china anything about herself.
Frida originally set out to become a doctor and was admitted as one of the very few female students in the prestigious Escuela Nacional Preparatoria. However, fate was not done being cruel to her and she suffered a deathly trolley accident which left her with serious injuries. Her spinal column, collarbone, pelvis and ribs were broken , she had eleven fractures in her right leg and dislocated her right foot. Furthermore, her shoulder was dislocated and her abdomen and uterus were pierced with an iron nail. While this incident was the most physically excruciating experience other life, it gave birth to Frida the artist. Her creative side was expressed when her father gave her his paints and set up an easel for her to help her pass the time while she was recovering.
Frida’s stunning portraits give us insight into her tumulus life – her straight , never smiling, expression are reflective of the lack of happiness in her life. Her pain is showcased clearly though her artwork – her mental illnesses and chronic addiction to alcohol is projected through her expressions in her self portraits.
Frida had many affairs with both men and women, she often hosted parties at her house and made many a dark jokes. She refused to confine herself to what society expected of women. She refused to let anyone tell her what was right and what was wrong. She was powerful in her own right. She was an unconventional beauty.