To celebrate International Women’s Day we asked our bloggers who the most badass women in history have been. Check out who they said.
Emilia’s Favourite Badass Women!
No words needed. Just images of some Badass Women.
Emilia, 15, Leicester
Whose blog would you like to read next: Tabitha
I have to admit that though I consider myself a feminist, I struggled to think of a female role model from history to write about this week. On a whim, I decided to research Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter and activist. Knowing nothing about her to begin with, what I learned shocked me, and gave me a level of respect for her and her work that I have never before felt about a historical figure.
I simply had no idea of the insurmountable hardship she endured during her life. I only knew her previously for her iconic dark brow and piercing stare, pictured in her many self-portraits, making her face possibly the most iconic in art history.
From a young age, Frida expressed an interest and talent for art, though due to her upbringing in rural Mexico, she was not recognised until much later in life. Her painting career might have ended before it even began, as at only 18 years old, she was involved in a devastating accident. A traffic collision, that severely damaged her spine, left her paralysed for long periods of her life and could have easily been fatal. Though she survived, her road to recognition was not an easy one, which is why I count her as one of the most badass women in history.
Her injuries never properly healed. Throughout her life, she spent numerous lengthy stays in hospital, underwent many damaging, failed surgeries, was in constant chronic pain, and yet she kept going. She even became addicted to painkillers due to her condition, yet she kept going. She wished to have a child with her husband, Diego Rivera, but could not because the accident, she suffered as a girl, had shattered her pelvis. As a result, she endured multiple abortions and carried the pain with her, expressing her grief in her work. Heartbreakingly, at one point in her life, doctors did deem her strong enough to have the child she desperately wanted, but she miscarried and her last hope was lost. Despite her pain, she continued to paint, more or less frequently based on the severity of her illness, but she never stopped painting – not until the very end.
Frida was a force to be reckoned with – fierce and strong. Not content to be seen as just the wife of someone more famous, (her husband Diego was also an artist) she insisted that during their marriage she continue to sell her own work, make her own money and be completely independent. She was opinionated and charismatic, a member of the communist party and an outspoken activist for it. She was brazen and confident, known to pretend as if she knew less English than she did, to cause a stir by saying disquieting things. She also had many affairs during her marriage, with both men and women, and some of her artwork is said to contain sapphic themes. But most of all, she was a passionate artist, showing her work all over the United States and then eventually Europe. Near the very end of her life, confined to her bed, she still insisted strongly on being at the opening of her new gallery. And so she was. Though in great pain and unable to stand, she sat on her four-poster bed in the middle of the gallery and greeted admirers with her unmistakable gallows humour and silver tongue.
She died at the age of 47 in 1954.
Despite setbacks that would have surely made most of us give up hope, she managed to achieve an incredible amount and set a standard for what it truly means to be legendary. To me, it seems as if she received about 7 lifetimes worth of bad luck in her short 47 years on this earth. That, along with the raw emotion and originality of her work, is why I say she deserves every bit of her timeless infamy.
Tabitha, 15 Leicester
Whose blog would you like to read next: Emilia
Images of our badass women are from various internet sources. Future is Female image is from Unsplash