Get Inspired, Be Empowered Forums Feminism How did Frida Kahlo impact the feminist movement? Reply To: How did Frida Kahlo impact the feminist movement?

Semantee Chattopadhyay
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She is on your mugs, she is on your tote bags, she is even on the back of our Jean jackets. Frida Kahlo went from being a radical self-portrait artist to a product sold and consumed all over the world. This tells us a lot about the consumerization of feminism. Kahlo was a Mexican artist known around the globe for her provocative self-portraits. She was disabled by polio at the age of two. At eighteen, she suffered serious health injuries as a result of a bus crash that almost killed her. Through paintings of her face body and posture, she depicted her struggles with disability and her fallout with long time lover Diego Rivera. Her work also gave insight into her family life and how she perceived herself. Politically, Kahlo was outspoken against the capitalist world order. She hung out with people like trust ki and constantly challenged Western standards of what it meant to look and feel like a woman. That’s why today she is seen as an important symbol of feminism. Feminism has become a very messy term, like many concepts it means different things to different people. Its history can be broken down into three main waves. The first wave, second wave and the third wave feminism. The third wave of feminism, during the 1990s and the 2000s, came about partially as a response to the person saved failures of the first and the second waves. With many of the voices emerging from the global south, third-wave feminism called out white feminists for enforcing their version of what liberation and equality ought to look like. Third-wave feminism is believed in the diversity of experiences and felt their stories were being hijacked by white feminists. Their main concern was ‘intersectionality’, which meant that the diversity of ‘women’ is recognised with an emphasis placed on identity, gender, race, nation, social order and sexual preferences. This is where the impact of Frida Kahlo is most important. At a time when being feminine was the norm for being a woman, she was not ashamed of her facial hair and even depicted it in her paintings. She also showed a lot of gender fluidity and put her disability front and the centre of her work. She would alternate between masculine and feminine attire in her self-portraits.