Frida Kahlo: Iconic Embrace of Female Sexuality - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  716 Words
Date:  2023-01-05


Frida Kahlo is distinguished for many aspects outside her artistic works. One aspect of her life aspects that has made her admirable and prominent is her candidness around female sexuality. Her modern perceptions towards sexuality and ability to express her thoughts have made her an iconic figure in the LGBT community. She has expressed her ideas about sexuality through art exploring the themes of sex and infertility. She disregards the traditional limitations of gender and identifies herself with both male and females. This paper will discuss the life, legacy, and contributions of Frida Kahlo in gender and sexuality.

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Frida Kahlo was born on 6th July 1907 in Coyocoan Mexico. Her father was a photographer with German roots. Her mother was half Spanish and half Amerindian. Kahlo contracted polio at a young age and was bedridden for nine months (Herrera, 2018). She kept a very close bond with her father who was her source of inspiration. She joined a group of students who held like political and logical views. One day she was involved in a severe bus accident which left her hospitalized for a long time. She started painting when she was in the hospital bed. Frida began to express her feelings about gender and sexuality in 1938 when she befriended Andre Breton, the pioneer of the surrealism movement.

Kahlo became famous from 1938 when her artistic works got wider recognition in Mexico and other parts of the world. Her paintings were categorized as surrealism although she did not view herself as such. Kahlo painted self-images of her disability, her private and public life (Conaty, 2015). Her work became influential among people because she addressed real problems that women faced in marriages although nobody dared to speak about them during that era. She was the first woman to use fashion to communicate a feminist message of independence.

Kahlo is considered a feminist icon because of her constant artistic works depicting the plight of women in society. Often she designed artworks on infertility, sexuality, miscarriages, heartbreaks, and gender equality. Frida is considered a feminist because of the public expression of her bisexual sexuality. She had sexual relationships with both men and women. She defied the gender stereotypes of 1900 by wearing men's clothes and attended formal schooling which majorly was for male children (Hesse, 2018). In the 1900 female experiences were private. However, Frida publicized female issues such as miscarriages, menstruation, sexual organs, and breastfeeding. She was instrumental in creating awareness about women rights and assisted many women in realizing their potential and self-worth.

Kahlo was part of surrealism painters although she did not identify herself with the movement. Kahlo branded her work as a free expression of herself. Her paintings were very personal, and she was not afraid to depict even the most private aspects of herself (Courtney, O'Hearn, & Franck, 2016). Kahlo expressed her physical and emotional suffering through drawings. She brought to view the reality of life and challenges that women go through which other painters were uncomfortable to address.

Frida's life had significant contributions to the understanding of bisexual sexuality in society. Frida was not shy to identify with the masculine gender as she was seen dressed in men's clothes on several occasions. Her relationship with multiple men and women indicated her openness and beliefs in gender and sexuality (Pankl, 2018). Her work has significantly contributed to gender studies especially in understanding the bisexual gender.

Kahlo Frida was a renowned iconic feminist in the 1930s. Her painting career started while in a hospital bed following a critical road accident. She was a great feminist and identified with both the female and male gender. Kahlo played a significant role in defining the role of women in the male-dominated era of 1900. She was part of the surrealism movement, and her paintings and actions have contributed significantly to the understanding of bisexual gender.


Conaty, S. M. (2015). Frida Kahlo's body: confronting trauma in art. Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation, 1.Retreived from:

Courtney, C. A., O'Hearn, M. A., & Franck, C. C. (2016). Frida Kahlo: portrait of chronic pain. Physical therapy, 97(1), 90-96., H. (2018). Frida: The biography of Frida Kahlo. Bloomsbury Publishing

Hesse, M. (2018). Frida Kahlo: An Illustrated Life. University of Texas Press.

Pankl, L. (2018). Frida Kahlo as Feminist Geographer. Gender, Place & Culture, 1-4.

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Frida Kahlo: Iconic Embrace of Female Sexuality - Essay Sample. (2023, Jan 05). Retrieved from

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