Why do some people influence us more than others? What is it about role models that make our lives just that much better? This week we share our favorite female historical figures in an effort to understand their influential natures.
As I comprehend it, a role model isn’t a paragon of virtues or for that matter respectable in all areas of life. Instead, a role model is someone with a zest for life that is contagious. Sure they know life is not easy. What makes them stand out is how they tackle what life throws at them. For me it’s not about grace under pressure, it’s the embracing of the grittier aspects of life’s challenges, no matter how dark.
Only one person springs to mind, and I think you’ll agree that she had a fair amount of trials and tribulations thrown her way. Frida Kahlo. Artist, activist, wife, traveller – all with a heavily damaged spine. She came into my life via a library in New Jersey while I was in the military. I was entranced. Those paintings just reached out and grabbed my attention like none other.
Frida Kahlo survived a horrific bus accident at 18, you might say it altered the trajectory of her life. Through her paintings we see her vitality. It was her self-portraits that got me to try one of my own in my little dorm room on the base. She inspired me to embrace all creative notions – painting myself with blue skin, why not?
What I love most about Ms. Kahlo is that she never gave up. Broken in many places, enduring extreme emotional and physical pain, she’s my role model who gets me art journaling and who makes me empathetic when I see suffering. In the pressure cooker of life she emerged as one tough chick who fought and loved at a level I can only dream of. Gracias, Frida.
[Img.Src: Frida Kahlo self-portrait]