Recently I had the privilege of visiting the Frida Kahlo museum in Mexico City. Citizens lined the street for kilometres, with the entrance fees waved to locals on Sundays. Mexicans love Frida. Mexican women see her as an icon. A troubled woman, who faced challenges fearlessly and met adversity with creativity.
They believe in her legacy implicitly, the only thing they question is why on earth she took Diego back?
Frida’s deteriorating health meant she suffered extensively in her life. She always found solutions to remain creative, painting from bed or a wheelchair. She persevered through her pain, physical and emotional, a unique talent that gave her the strength she needed to become the perfect face for Latina women.
She was in favour of women experiencing a sexual awakening, having political drive and educating themselves extensively. She was no optimist but with all she experienced, how could she have been expected to be? Frida had real expectations and perseverance. That was her superpower.
To wait with hidden anguish,
my spine broken and my gaze, broad.
Unable to walk on the great pathway,
Moving through life
fenced in by steel.
The Frida Kahlo museum is a place designed to take you on a journey of Frida’s life. As you move through the space, you experience her loves, her frustrations, her eventual defeat. But what a life it was and what a woman.
Selma Heyak as Frida Kahlo by Annie Leibovitz