Icon: Frida Kahlo
Words by Anna Potter of Top Girl Studio
Feminist, artist, selfie queen, style icon and all round fierce female. To me Frida Kahlo will always be the definition of girl power. Pain and suffering were common themes in Frida’s life after being involved in a horrific bus accident at the age of 18 that left her with a broken spinal column along with many other injuries. The Mexican painter became a female icon to many women worldwide for her personal self-portraits that explored her own traumatic experiences. In her own words: “I never painted dreams. I painted only my reality.”
Her work always embodied the challenges of being a woman, concentrating particularly on sensitive topics such as culture, identity, sex and infertility. By painting her own story she was able to create conversations that needed to be heard.
Frida considered herself an individual. She embraced both her masculine and feminine side and helped break down barriers surrounding gender stereotypes. She was a woman who boxed, told dirty jokes, won tequila challenges and dressed like a man in family portraits. She was fearless, but most importantly she was comfortable in her own skin.
One of the things I respect most about Kahlo was her defiance towards beauty standards. She was a woman ahead of her time that knew how to own her natural beauty. By pencilling on her mono-brow in with dark eyeliner and not shaving her upper lip hair she was able to spread a message of acceptance – that you didn’t need to look like everyone else. She showed the world how to love their imperfections teaching us to simply be ourselves and embrace our own flaws.
Frida Kahlo knew who she was and wasn’t ashamed of that. To me she will always be that weird but wonderful badass babe who could pull off a strong brow and convey meaningful messages in her work that would resonate with women everywhere for generations to come. All of which I can only dream of doing. Viva la Frida! Autorretrato con collar de espinas