This month, we celebrated International Women's Day. While growing up in Russia, 8th of March was one of the most important holidays - a day when all women are cherished and celebrated. Mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, female friends and colleagues are showered with attention, affection and bouquets of flowers. After moving to Canada, I noticed that this holiday was not recognized to nearly the same extent in North America. However, in recent years, with the rise in the feminist movements, it seems that International Women's Day has gained momentum in popularity worldwide. This lovely holiday got me thinking about the strong fierce resilient women that inspire me, one of them being the incredible Frida Kahlo - Mexican artist known for her surrealist self-portraits, her unapologetically bold and vibrant style, as well the pain and the passion that have permeated her entire life.
An intensely passionate artist; a fiercely defiant woman; an icon of beauty even in her lack of desire to conform to the feminine ideal - Frida Kahlo continues to fascinate and inspire decades after her untimely death. Kahlo's entire life was defined and shaped by her chronic pain - from her childhood illnesses, to the debilitating bus accident as a teenager, and finally the excruciating heartache that accompanied her lifelong turbulent relationship with artist Diego Riviera. Kahlo is revered in Mexico for her unfailing devotion to her country and culture, and is celebrated by feminists and artists all over the world for her honest and raw depiction of the female experience in her numerous self-portraits. Despite a life full of pain and heartbreak, Frida Kahlo is remembered for her unbridled passion and lust for life, her colourful Tehuana dresses, her kindness and warmth, her love of all animals. Simple and unpretentious to the core of her being, Frida treated all as her equals and delighted in parties, crowds, dancing and tequila. Above all else, Frida Kahlo's life is a testament to her lifelong quest to be unapologetically herself and her commitment to honesty with others and, most importantly, with herself.