Sunday, April 10, 2016

Women We Love: Frida Kahlo

Any woman worth her folkloric peasant blouse and ethnic jewelry loves Frida Kahlo. Beautiful and deeply personal paintings aside, Frida was no mere clothes horse. She deliberately chose to wear an old-fashioned style of Mexican dress as both a tribute to her country and a protest against losing its identity in the name of progress.

Frida was very good at protesting. She cut off her hair and painted herself wearing men's clothes to rail against her husband, the painter Diego Rivera. She suffered unresolved health issues that necessitated wearing a body cast as a brace. Frida didn't let that get her down; she painted her cast. The infamous uni-brow and moustache come and go in photographs and paintings. I think she used those too when she wished to Make a Statement.

Frida has been "homaged" so much she can easily become a caricature, but interest in her never flags. There is a Frida Festival going on now in Houston which includes a Frida look-alike contest, art, vendors and performances in her honor.

The promotional poster makes the point of Frida exactly: "You can do it", whatever the "it" is. And don't forget Diego.


  1. There was a Frida Kahlo photo exhibit a few years ago at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach. It included a Frida Kahlo contest--and it was so fun to see girls and women of all ages inspired by Kahlo's dress. There were even very old women in wheelchairs.

    1. The event I wrote about even has a special contest for children. Really, someone with more credentials than I could do a study on the lasting interest in her.