The Shapes We Mae


Kate WeinerComment

Our new "Woman of the Week" series is a celebration of diverse role models-- past and present. In light of the recent Frida Kahlo retrospective at The New York Botanical Gardens, we figured that a few words on why this passionate artist and provocateur kicks ass would be a colorful jumpstart to our column. Fab Ciraolo's illustration, above, reimagines Frida Kahlo as a modern-day punk with a penchant for pink petals and sweet ink. And while we're not sure what Frida would think, I like that this image captures her fearless spirit, the wild beauty and thoughtfulness and defiance that coursed through her body of work.

Frida is the feminist icon with flowers in her hair. She was a passionate naturalist who found inspiration in her environment and gave back to the soil that nourished her. She drew messy sketches and created vibrant canvases of her untarnished self: blemished, tired, cramping from menstruation. She took pride in her monobrow, in her moustache. She inhabited both the "feminine" and "masculine" aspects of her identity with unusual grace and startling pride. She had lovers. She had fights. She rebelled and she painted and she gardened and she grew.
Frida is a reminder that being who you are is a thing of beauty--on your bright days and on your dark days.