Frida Kahlo-A Womens History and LGBTQ Icon


Annalyse Wallace, Writer

When you think of Frida Kahlo, you probably think of her beautiful works of art. But, did you know that she wasn’t even going to be an artist?

When she was young, Frida had very bad health. At age 6, she got polio. When she recovered, she did many sports-swimming, soccer, and even wrestling, something that was very unusual for a girl at the time. Then, she met Diego Rivera in 1922 at a renowned Mexican college, where she was originally going for a medical program. Her and Rivera would later go on to have many divorces and remarriages.

But, something got in the way of Frida being a doctor. In the same year, she suffered from a great accident after getting hit by a oncoming car while riding the bus with her current boyfriend, Alejandro Gomez Arias. A steel handrail impaled through her hip. Her spine and pelvis both got fractured, leaving her bedridden for months and having to wear a full body cast for three months. But, to pass the time, she started to paint. Her parents made her a special easel to make painting in bed easier. The next year, she painted her first self portrait, one of many to come.

Frida actually got her artistic abilities from her father, Guillermo Kahlo, a German photographer. From a young age, she learned how to use a camera and how to see the detail in peoples faces-the expressions, gestures, and postures of many people. So, when she got into painting, she was already skilled in making somebody look and feel like a real person in a painting.

Through the next years, she painted things that shocked people. She never listened to anybody’s negative words about her art and always painted her raw emotions. As she has quoted, “I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.” She also didn’t listen to the beauty norms of that time, sporting her iconic unibrow. In multiple photos, she has also been seen wearing suits, which was something that was looked down upon a woman doing at that time. She was very outspoken and would never let a man run her life. She was also queer. She was seen multiple times talking to women while her and her husband were apart.

So, although she died almost 70 years go, she made a lasting impact on the world today. Many people, including myself, are very inspired on how she broke many gender norms for the world. Her legacy will live on for many years to come!


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