The sartorial subversion by Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo, the 20th century painter from Mexico, was a non-conformist in every way possible. She defied ideas of femininity all through her life. She was rebellious and audacious refusing to be subdued just because she was born a woman. She was bisexual and led a sexually adventurous life.Her paintings are known for their intense and painful frankness. Her dark unibrow and thin moustache have found an honest representation in each of her widely acclaimed self portraits. She was full of the lust for life which even the pain of a terrible accident could not take away from her. She loved dressing up and her flaming clothes are well known and a curated extract of her wardrobe can be found here.

What is lesser known is that she would sometimes even give up her bright colourful Mexican skirts and don men’s clothing.

One such self-portrait of Frida Kahlo
Here she is rocking a man’s suit in family photograph

Frida Kahlo appears more like a son than a daughter in this family portrait. Its not just her dress but also the cocky way she stands right next to her father.

Here she is, surrounded by her very feminine sisters


The difference between the other women in the pictures and Frida Kahlo is not just the attire but also her posture. Her confident open stance is in stark contrast to the delicate womanly postures of others. Her strong personality seems more at home in these clothes. It helps us to better understand the life that she led- uninhibited by her gender.


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