This week in my series of people who inspire me is dedicated to perhaps my ultimate heroine, Frida Kahlo.
When I was recently decorating my bedroom, I decided to make it a sanctuary and shrine to powerful, inspirational women. This Frida art is on my mantelpiece, alongside a portrait of my beloved grandmother.
The main reason I love her was for her individuality. My inspirators are people who aren’t afraid to be different, stand out, be the colourful sheep, be who they really want to be and Frida is definitely one of these people. She was individual in expressing her identity, with her unique style and such a big personality. She oozed creativity, colour, her style was bold, brilliant, and joyous. She created a brand within herself.
Her life was filled with physical, as well as emotional, pain but it didn’t stop her from feeling alive and full. She almost died twice by the time she was 18, with polio as a child causing disability and then a horrific bus accident, causing injuries that would give her a life of suffering. Frida never lost her optimism and lust for life. Dying aged just 47, her life was very short, but it was rich and full and left the biggest impact on us all.
Her belief in the idea of ‘jolie laide’, which means ‘beautiful ugly’, feels very of the moment. Kahlo was all about accepting her natural looks. As Vidal puts it, “she highlighted her flaws to vindicate the beauty of imperfections”
My favourite line of hers – “The only ones who die are those who never lived. And whoever lives on after death produces, in those who come afterward, new sensations, longings, and desires.”
Lucky for us, she’s proved herself right.
I cannot WAIT to see the Frida exhibition this summer at the V&A. Anyone else going?