Frida Kahlo Was An OG Feminist Icon
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Frida Kahlo Was An OG Feminist Icon

She would be proud of how far we have come.

Frida Kahlo Was An OG Feminist Icon
Camila Cordeiro


A person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. While movements such as #MeToo and Women’s March have started to help pave the way for equality among men and women, there was a small Mexican painter who started breaking down social norms before it was really acceptable.

When it was first said in class what our final paper would be about, I thought immediately about the famous painter. Frida was a different type of woman for the time period she lived. She did “male” things like drink, smoke, and curse, but would also occasionally dress as a male and even cut her hair into a boy cut at one point. This was nearly unheard of in the 1930’s to 1950’s when she lived. Frida helped change the course of history by paving the way for more women to do whatever they wanted to do without letting gender get in the way. She was an incredible painter, warrior, and feminist icon that still lives on today.

Frida defied beauty standards.

She didn’t care that she wasn’t the 1940’s vision of beautiful, she created her own beautiful. She kept her “masculine” features such as her unibrow, her mustache, and didn’t shave her armpit hair. These are some of the features she highlights in her paintings, and even exaggerated. She created her own individual style, especially through her clothing. At the time, when women were wearing tight dresses, Frida wore long skirts and loose shirts with vivid patterns. She braided ribbons and flowers into her hair and wore accessories that created a fashion frenzy across the world. Although Frida defied the standards of beauty in society, she’s still considered as one of the most attractive women of that era.

Frida didn’t believe in gender stereotypes.

As one can imagine, women had hardly any rights during the 1900s. At this time men were seen as the dominant sex, it was expected of women to be housewives. Frida was not about that kind of life for herself. She knew even before her accident that she was not going to be ruled around but her husband, if she ever got one. After her and Diego had their brief separation, she appeared for her family photo in men’s clothes and with all of her long black hair cut off. But my favorite thing she did? She would challenge men in drinking tequila! And win! In a society where it is seen that women are highly dainty and can’t drink more than a glass of zero calorie wine without getting drunk gets me. Then we have Frida, outdrinking the men at their own “game,” truly iconic.

Frida depicted real women in her paintings.

She grew tired of the traditional depiction of female beauty in art and instead chose to paint raw and honest experiences that every women will sometimes face. Her subject matter included abortion, miscarriage, birth, and breastfeeding. This subject matter was often the cause of controversy and had people talking, but this in turn shed light on the experiences shared by all women and became more known. She did this through her own experiences, because due to the accident she always miscarried her pregnancies which was incredibly hard on her. This being said, she converted her pain into beautiful paintings such as Henry Ford Hospital for one of her miscarriages or The Broken Column which was for the daily pain she endured after breaking her spine. Although her paintings were always about sad points in her life, she always had a strong and fierce look in her eyes to show that she was not all these bad things that happened to her.

Overall I believe Frida Kahlo to be one of the greatest people who ever lived. With the pain she endured to her husband’s infidelity, she remained strong and with a positive outlook. She didn’t care what others thought of her, and I think that’s what makes her so great. She broke down barriers that most women at the time were too scared to do. She opened herself up to the world in such a raw and beautiful way that people still talk about her and try to embody her personality nearly 64 years after her death. Frida being herself made her a feminist icon, and forever changed the world around us.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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