How Frida Kahlo influenced feminism

  • Published on Nov 7, 2015
  • Extended Essay video abstract - Emma Vermeulen
    "To what extent did Frida Kahlo influence feminism through the artworks she produced?"

Comments • 31

  • Sadhbh Murphy
    Sadhbh Murphy 4 years ago +2

    What a great essay, this is so well done !

  • Arielle Bruce
    Arielle Bruce 5 years ago +4

    Hey I was wondering what references and other websites you used to make your essay? I'm making a project about Frida so it would help a lot to get even more information

    • Emma Vermeulen
      Emma Vermeulen  5 years ago +2

      Hi Arielle! So sorry I'm only reading this now, but if you're still working on your project I can send you a list of sources!

  • Anniek
    Anniek 6 years ago +2

    Hi, i am writing an essay about why frida is considered an important symbol of feminism and i was wondering if you have any tips for me? Really good video btw!

    • Emma Vermeulen
      Emma Vermeulen  6 years ago +2

      +Anniek B Hi! Sure, no problem, glad you liked my video. I think Frida Kahlo's main strength was that she didn't give a damn about what other people thought of her: she did what she wanted to do, loved whoever she loved and painted whatever she wanted to paint. I think she set an example for all women and artists in her time and in our modern time as well. She dared to express herself regardless of judgements, which is a core value of feminism: being and expressing yourself without being discriminated for it.

  • Angie
    Angie 5 years ago +6

    This is awesome, thanks so much for this video.

  • Music Matters
    Music Matters 4 years ago +1

    Very well documented.

  • Ting Ting Hu
    Ting Ting Hu 6 years ago +13

    Beautiful video! :-)!

  • Pepurr Smithson
    Pepurr Smithson 4 years ago +2


  • putri maya
    putri maya 3 years ago +1

    A great video! Btw where can I see your essay??

  • Gabriela Whonder
    Gabriela Whonder 3 years ago +1

    hello, i would love to read your essay! beautiful video

  • Karina Edwards
    Karina Edwards 5 years ago +4

    I love this

  • Cupcakes Viola
    Cupcakes Viola 5 years ago +1

    Where did you find these video clips of Frida?

  • Mexico Unexplained
    Mexico Unexplained 4 years ago +5

    What example did she set for modern-day feminists? If you take away the physical pain she was feeling, most of the rest of her life was defined by her relationship to a man (her husband). Read her voluminous writings on her relationship with her husband. She was not the strong and independent woman modern-day women would wish that she was. She also did NOTHING in her life to improve the lot of women around her, least of all poor women which made up the majority of Mexican women. She called herself a communist while reveling in the lavish parties attended by the elites. She was a fraud who followed the trendies of the day, beginning with the café scene in a 1920s Mexico City that wished to be a Latin American version of Paris or Berlin. Kahlo needs to be reassessed and put into proper context. Today she is like water and adapts to whatever container a person puts her in.

    • Hershal Felder
      Hershal Felder 3 years ago


    • AMP
      AMP 4 years ago +8

      Mexico unexplained,
      wow, thats a pretty harsh assessment of Frida.
      For a start, just because she had a dedicated love for Diego, doesn't mean she didn't stand up for her own rights in that relationship. Many people say she was obsessed with him, but a woman obsessed is smothering, Frida chose to leave and move in on her own, she refused diegos financial help and forged her own individual life away from him more than once, even though she did still adore him, anyhow; since when is feminism and loving a man mutually exclusive, the feminist fight has always been about equality, & though at times she didn't give herself much credit for her art, Diego often said her work surpassed his, she loved him because, although a womaniser, he believed women were free to be the who they pleased, not ruled by a man as was the machismo mindset of those days. While she was a part of the artistic elite, she & her peers started out as a group specifically in express opposition to the supercilious ruling class of the time, she was not elitist at all in fact she did much to contribute to the party through her art which as a consequence helped feed & house the poor through advocacy work via the party, she also expressed disdain on her trip to the U.S - in many a private correspondence saying she loathed the rich throwing money about thoughtlessly while she witnessed poverty with her own eyes on an extreme level daily, hardly the words of someone with no sense of social responsibility. Most of her life was spent in chronic pain with around 30 surgeries as many body casts while still dealing with the effects of poliomyelitis & ashermans syndrome. With the limited medicinal pain relief back then, is it any wonder she wasn't physically out there fronting a soup kitchen after war or a national catastrophy, most of her movement was slow & considered because of her pain. As for being a follower, i doubt there were many other artists brave enough to document in their art, the physical & psychological suffering she endured from her miscarriages & from her enforced abortions due to the complications of her injuries & surgeries. Her adoption of indiginous dress as a nod to her maternal ancestry gave pride to many other mexican women at a time where colonialism was entrenched in mexican culture, to be seen as wholly mexican & proud back then was seen to be unclean & ignorant, not the type of move to be made by a follower it was also rare for a woman to have the guts to be photographed in a mans suit. In her day, though she loved Diego, she detested being thought of simply as his wife/sidekick, giving rise to the thought that she did see herself as a person in her own right not just as chattel, yes she did take charge of her sexuality, in a time where it was believed women not only did not have orgasms but were supposed to be sexually obedient to their husbands, she believed if it was good enough for men to look after their own pleasure it was also good enough for a woman to, though she was extremely private about her inner stance - as women had to be very careful of how they portrayed themselves due to the monumental hypocracies between the sexes at the time, it truly was - a mans world.
      To this day she is celebrated as a female icon in mexican art - a gift to the world, and as such, probably draws in millions in revenue for mexican tourism, money that goes back into mexico itself. So, yes you can look at her writings about Diego as a means to make her out to be a female under the thumb, someone who was carried along by the tide of happenings in her circle & country. Those days were very different to the world now. Though, seeing her in that light is a very one dimensional facade, not at all sympathetic to the very loving, vivacious and giving person she could be, the cards dealt to her could have made her a very vacuous, nasty bitter person, but no. When artists complete their art, they see it as theirs no longer, it is a gift to the world, and i personally think, she was full of life & colour, very generous with her art & a woman myself & many other women (& men for that matter) around the world truly admire.
      Gracias Frida

  • Nikki Loef
    Nikki Loef 5 years ago +6

    Were can I find your essay?

    • Emma Vermeulen
      Emma Vermeulen  5 years ago +3

      Hi! It's not online but if you'd still like to read it I can send it to you!

  • Johnny #AMCAPE
    Johnny #AMCAPE 3 years ago +2

    May she rest in power

  • Jasmin C
    Jasmin C 2 years ago

    Where can I find ur essay ?

  • Monsieur Milo
    Monsieur Milo Year ago

    Read her diaries. Its the opposite.

  • Lovely Untamed
    Lovely Untamed 4 years ago

    Frida was not a fucking feminist. I hate how that demographic uses her to symbolize that.
    Frida crossdressed and engaged in man stuff because she felt both genders were both equally important. She loved both masculine and feminine qualities, yet she did not think one was above the other.

    • Emma Vermeulen
      Emma Vermeulen  4 years ago

      Miss Shortcake That’s a pretty big generalisation. But super cool that you spoke to people who knew her! #jealous

    • Lovely Untamed
      Lovely Untamed 4 years ago

      Emma Vermeulen feminists today are not at all like their founding mothers. And no I didn't know her personally but my family is from her home town and I've spoken with people, very old people, who knew her personally.

    • Emma Vermeulen
      Emma Vermeulen  4 years ago

      Firstly, I think we can’t be sure of either of those things as I suspect neither of us knew her personally. Secondly, this video is not about Frida Kahlo being a feminist, but about how she influenced the movement with her artworks. Thirdly, feminism is about equality, not about one superior gender. Besides, femininity or masculinity do not define one’s position in that movement

  • Bart Hamburg
    Bart Hamburg 3 years ago +1

    Pretty sure that chick is a dude.

  • metromelody18
    metromelody18 3 years ago +1

    Still don't see her as a feminist. shes a bad example of feminism. The things she did was to support her ex husband and learned communism from her ex husband. So basically the part about communism that was inspiring to make her famous was because of her ex husband wanting to hide a russian icon in their home and make a movement. And forgot to mention stayed with a man that was not faithful, not monogamous and he constantly gave her grief during her time when her health was declining. So I only see her as an artist and only an artist. Because everything else was to just to support her husband and getting into his trends just so they can find something in common to make their marriage work. Only her biography was inspiring not her choices that caused her grief in the end.
    Mexican till the end.

    • Emma Vermeulen
      Emma Vermeulen  3 years ago +1

      I respect your views, but would still like to say one more time that this video is not about her being a feminist: just how her artworks may have affected the feminist movement. How a selfproclaimed non-feminist might still have affected this movement, that's very interesting to me. Thanks for your reactions