There are many reasons to be obsessed with Frida Khalo. Her paintings, her life story, her activism, her style, her resilience... Frida (2002, Julie Taymor) offers a taste for all of it. It's a high-budget Hollywood interpretation, of course, and bound to be an interpretation after what's known about her life and what can be seen in her paintings through the prism of the director and many other people. And through the Frida Kahlo myth too, of course.
Nevertheless there are certain aspects of her life that are very clear.
- The use of personal, painful, often gendered experiences in creative expression, working through and with them (very similarly as Sylvia Plath, by the way).
- The courage to embrace her roots and go beyond them at the same time. Her way of both painting and dress is clearly based on Mexican imagery, but then she takes it a step farther and makes it her very own.
- The wish to follow her desires, to act upon them. While this is not supposed to be always easy, there's no doubt that Frida's journey was an authentic one.
"Frida Kahlo was a disabled politically active woman of color who deliberately fucked with gender roles and don’t you ever forget it."
P.S. For the dessert, here's the story on her dresses: 1, 2.