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Gringos, Frida Kahlo Would Not Want to Be On Your Shirt

Frida Kahlo, is one of Mexico’s most treasured artists, especially for her unibrow, facial hair, and being against glorifying European features as the epitome of beauty. She was opposed to the idea of being “lady-like”, which can be seen in her paintings and even using makeup to darken her facial hair. Apart from being an artist, she is recognized as a feminist icon and a strong activist for the communist party.

Kahlo was highly against people viewing her as white or as having Eurocentric features and was open about her dislike for Anglos. “I don’t like gringos at all. They are very boring and all have faces like unbaked rolls.” Interestingly enough, most of the companies that use her image for selling purposes are white people who are oblivious at the fact that she despised them and their ability to steal cultures and then claim them as their own. Kahlo would not enjoy having her face on clothing, bags, etc. made by women of color in poor countries who gain absolutely no profit from it.

One of Kahlo’s paintings called “My Dress Hangs There” (1933) which was painted in NYC when she was living there with Diego Rivera, her husband, is one of her most known paintings where she is critiquing capitalism. She pleaded for them to move back to Mexico, but Rivera refused as being in the United States was good for him to get his name well known. “This painting (My Dress Hangs There) is the result of this conflict. Frida Kahlo was trying to depict the superficiality of American capitalism.

my-dress-hangs-there

Frida was highly against capitalism, and you buying “Frida merchandise” would be going against any sort of tribute you are trying to depict. Especially if the piece of clothing is sold by white women who are using PoC to produce it. Showing your love for Frida Kahlo is great, but please don’t do it the capitalistic way; stop turning her into this Eurocentric beauty figure because she is the exact opposite of that.

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Stefhanie is a high school senior and plans to major in Chicanx Studies in college. She enjoys reading poetry and eating mangos. She is a first-generation Chicana. Find her on twitter: @stefhaniexo and on instagram: @stefhaniezy

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