Latin American women are known for their power and passion and nowhere more than Mexico is this proved to be true. The path of history has been carved by many visionary doyennes, some whose names are remembered today, but many more whose brave and iconic acts have tragically become lost in the mists of time.
This International Women’s Day we’re taking the opportunity to celebrate some of the more and lesser known leading lights of Mexican history and culture to help ensure that their fearlessness continues to inspire the women of today.
Fierce Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)
Over 60 years later, Frida Kahlo continues to be a celebrated female icon, but it’s not the traditional embroidered pieces and floral crowns that have secured her longevity in the hearts and minds of women the world over. It is the raw power and defiance of the woman underneath the clothes that has inspired decade upon decade of woman to bravely face the oppression of their age.
Frida was a fighter of fate. She let nothing stand in her way to success and this tenacity and fierce passion won her well-deserved fame and influence. From her tender teenage years she struggled with a severe injury that left her bed bound but she took the opportunity to paint and create. Later the gods threw her a debilitating illness but again she rose up stronger and incorporated her new struggle into her work, fuelling her creativity with hardship.
Every inch of her being was used to display her beliefs. While the fashionable women of Mexican society were dressing in European styles, Frida went against the grain, celebrating her mixed heritage roots with indigenous dress when many other were hiding theirs. Her defiant attitude was reflected in her approach to politics and the gender conventions of her time. Frida was a true feminist and had the courage to think for herself and trust in her convictions.
Frida’s legacy lives on with no signs of fading, as she herself said: “The only ones who die are those who never lived. And whoever lives on after death produces in those who come afterwards new sensations, longings and desires.”