DISCUSSION: Jessica Diaz & Charlie Grab
One Page Midterm Self Evaluation due in class
(No attached emails will be accepted; see syllabus tab for details)
Frida (Part 2)
There are numerous aspects of the film Frida that could create immense discussion. Specifically, the use of costumes, Selma Hayek’s sexuality, and the way in which she received this role.
“Colorful dresses, bright red flowers, and indigenous jewelry further define Kahlo and Hayek as authentically Mexican and universally exotic.” (99) These almost indigenous representations of her appearance seem to make force us to believe she is from Mexico. This use of clothing and the constant focus on her unibrow are basically the only two constants showing us that this is even in another country.
“Kahlo’s non normative beauty, body, and sexuality, are cinematically reinterpreted through the body of the glamorous Hayek.” This dramatically effects the way in which we view Frida. We have seen Kahlo play many of the more stereotypical roles for Latinas, as fiery spitfire, maid, and artist. Her celebrity shines through over the role of the culturally Mexican role that this Lebanese star is playing. It is interesting to examine this because the audience is given a distorted view of Frida Kahlo, the effect that the production team was going for was both shattered and crafted by one woman.
When discussing how she came to obtain the role of Frida Kahlo, “She draws attention to her childhood in Mexico, knowledge of Mexican history, early acting career in Mexico, and continued relationship with her country of origin to establish her right to the role over other actors, such as Jennifer Lopez and Madonna.” (97) The article also points out that she felt the need to state that the author must be a Mexican however she is not. I find this very similar to Jennifer Lopez in Selena, both were female stars of similar backgrounds to the women they are interpreting. They were both highly scrutinized for their portrayals.
I have to agree about this distorted view of Latin women. Frida was a visionary, but some of her strength is lost with the hype surrounding penople cruze playing her.
In the movie world, the producers want to find someone who could play a person exactly the way they were when they were alive. I agree about that it is like Jennifer Lopez playing as Selena who both have similar backgrounds to the women they are interpreting. Although, the body who played Frida wasn’t exactly like her but the way she played Frida was excellent. Actors and actresses can play the part of the way the person was but they could never be that person no matter how long they study them. Also about the way she dress, it is like a she came from Mexico which was good to make the character feel like Frida was from Mexico.
I think that Hayek did a fantastic job portraying Kahlo. As the article infers, the “cultural visibility” (page 11) shown in the two women brought their similarities to light. Besides their physical resemblance, both women openly celebrated their Mexican heritage. Many poeple after seeing the film proclaimed that the movie was said to “demonstrate the cultural depth, beauty, and complexity of Mexico and it’s people.” (11)
I agree Katie, I think Selma Hayek was a fantastic casting choice for this movie. I think the statement that Frida as a woman was making about beauty is heightened by using Selma Hayek as an actress. The statement that Frida was making was that she herself did not meet the conventional ideal of beauty for many people, but the paintings she painted of herself were renowned world wide as being absolutely beautiful. Through this Frida showed that even beautiful/ugly is a false dichotomy! Selma Hayek strengthens this message because she is an actress that is incredibly well known for her looks and beauty. But in this role, she goes against her usual representation of herself and is an unconventional beauty- someone who is still beautiful just in a way that is against the societal norm. Hayeks inner beauty shines through in this film, just as Frida’s did both in her real life and her artwork.
Carolyn, you’re right about her inner beauty. I think the fact that so many people were attracted to Frida is an important message that people’s personalities are so much more important, and ultimately more attractive, than their appearance.
Frida was a very independant-minded woman. In class we discussed what thoughts or words come to mind when we think of femininity and such things like domesticity, self-sacrife, gentleness, and compliance were named. When we look at Frida and the way she chose to live her life, it’s very clear that she did not embody the stereotypical mold of femininity that many of us initially think of. It was very evident that Frida did not limit herself to one identity but rather molded herself into whatever she desired to be at any given moment in time. She was a bull-headed and stubborn woman that never bowed down to any person, be it male or female.
In her life she played many roles: wife, artist, a person with a disability, etc, and every role she played was done so by her rules and on her terms. There’s something to be said about a woman who goes against social norms and truly is her own person, especially during the socially constricting times she lived in. Whether or not it was her intention, Frida is very much a role model in her own right. As both a Mexican and a female she broke through societies confines and helped pave the way for not only Latin-American women but women of all ethnicities to become their own person, even if it goes against societal norms.
I feel as though many films, like Selena for example, tell the story of fame or ‘rags to riches’ more so than the story of a woman breaking through cultural binds. The story of Frida, however, was much more than that for me. I learned about the journey of a woman who became her own person and lived her life for herself and no one else. It was both inspiring and eye-opening and I’m glad I was able to learn about such a unique individual.
I agree that Friday didn’t posses typical “feminine attributes.” As we saw in one of the clips in class, she takes her anger out by drinking and cutting her hair. A “typical” female would express her emotions in a different way such as crying and giving up on the situation, but we didn’t really see Frida cry much during the movie. For example when she would notice Diego’s cheating, she would yell and hit him, not cry. Any other woman going through Frida’s situation would feel devastated, but Frida was strong enough to assume the responsibly of their unusual marriage and in a way or another kept it together.
Well it depends on the woman. If she feels disrespected or prideful then she wouldnt cry. Women are often portrayed as emotional but also as strong people who hide their feelings. Maybe Frida was a little ahead of her time, but I think not crying was indicative of her masculine traits. The drinking part was a little masculine. The cutting of the hair didnt seem too masculine or feminine given that it usually symbolizes a new beginning. I Britney S. shaved her head and people didn’t make any grand comments about her looking manly.
I think that Frida portrayed many masculine traits and uses her sexuality to be dominant. I agree that a lot of her actions were unusual compared to most other women. The fact that she was able to mock the norms and stand strong to what she believed in made her a unique individual. While watching the movie, I was always on my toes, wondering what Frida was going to do next. Every scene was definitely unpredictable, to say the least.
I feel like a woman can be expected to be so many different things at once, it’s often difficult to say whether or not certain traits are truly “feminine”. Women are often expected to be two things at once, which I noticed in class when we discussed what was feminine. One example of this is that women can be expected to be either weak or strong in any situation. It’s difficult to say whether or not Frida fit a typical role of either gender, but I think that it’s hard to even pin down the traits that each gender can possess. It’s hard to put people into a set category, or define some of their characteristics as male or female.
I completely agree. I loved the fact that Kahlo was so comfortable in her own skin that she could transcend so many boundaries in society, especially given the conservative time period in which she lived. It’s sad how concerned many women are of how others perceive them thus they afraid to be themselves. Kahlo was truly an inspiring women, especially considering all of the obstacles she overcame in her life, including her health issues and sometimes rocky relationship with her husband.
I absolutely agree with the above response. I felt that Frida pulled away from the normal rules of being a woman. Instead of playing the roles we discussed in class, Frida was more masculine than feminine in my opinion. Yes she physically looked like a woman but she strayed away from the roles of what a woman should do. This showed Frida’s extreme independance.
Katie I agree with you. By the end of the film I even found myself a little envious of Frida. The fact that she transcended so many boundaries in society and was very much her own person, living by her own rules must have been so liberating.
I wish I had as much backbone and she. Her ability to live life as she saw fit was inspiring.
Frida broke the domestic roles of a wife or a woman in general. Usually a wife is loyal to her husband even if he cheats. Instead of staying home, crying, and begging him to be faithful, she goes out and does the same thing. Women are also portrayed as submissive and obedient and she was none of those things. Frida has a very strong attitude and doesn’t let anything bring her down.
When she was paralyzed in the first part of the movie, she told her boyfriend that she will walk again. Even in a full body cast, she knew she would walk again and as she waited for that moment to happen, she would paint the time away. Later in the second part of the movie, after her leg amputation and possible pneumonia illness, she still didn’t come off as submissive. She showed up to the exhibition and told Diego “Shut up Panzon” as she was carried on her bed into the room against the doctor’s recommendations.
Being a disabled woman, Frida did everything she wanted and more. When people see a disabled person today, they automatically see them a lesser version of themselves. This is what is wrong with the world. A disabled person can still achieve their goals and dreams. Friday is one of the people that proved this by not letting sympathy of people “disable” her even more.
I enjoyed the simple fact that Frida wasn’t a submissive wife or person. She was very strong minded and independent and I truly admire that about her. The truth of this is shown in the examples you listed above. When she did not cry about Diego’s cheating or when she went to her exhibition while still in bed.
I think Frida’s disabilities are what drove her to not care what society had to say. Due to these disabilities, Frida was put into a category of weakness. Instead of conforming to that weakness, Frida knew that she had to work harder in order to enjoy her life. Everything about Frida was unpredictable and I enjoyed that aspect of her. She wasn’t the weak, dependent disabled that society usually discriminates against. She was bold, courageous and not afraid to travel along the gender spectrum. I think she serves as a role model for women, Latinas and most importantly, those who are disabled. She proved that no matter what odds were against her, she could be successful and enjoy the life she lived.
Touching on the subject of sexuality, and how it is often seen to fit into binary opposites, it is important to realize that this is a very European, Western societal notion. Southeast Asian communities before colonization actually had a much more fluid notion of sexuality, amongst other things.
The community I mentioned in class is the Bugis society in Indonesia. They have five genders – the ‘traditional’ male, ‘traditional’ female, calabai, calalai and bissu. Calabai are biologically male figures who take on female roles such as wedding planning, etc. Calalai are female at birth but take on male roles in society. Bissu refers to the fifth group and it means ‘gender transcendent.’ They act as priests in the society and are highly revered. Each gender have his/her/hir role as part of the Bugis society.
In Thailand, sexuality is also respected as a more fluid notion, with great tolerance of a group called the Kathoey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathoey), which refers to a transgender person or an effeminate gay male. They are often seen to be a third gender.
Going beyond sexuality, Frida also brings up issues about monogamy and the institution of marriage. Perhaps we are so set in our ways and mentalities that we find an open marriage as presented in the film a little strange and unconventional.
This idea of an open marriage reminds me of another example from Southeast Asia. In Javanese tradition, there is a group of female dancers called the lengger. They are considered indigenous dancers who hold a prestigious position in society because they take part in what is known as ritualistic prostitution. They sleep with the (married) men in the society, but are not thought to be a threat to the institution of marriage, but actually beneficial. After the islamization of Indonesia, these lengger dancers are now stigmatized as erotic, dangerous and threatening to Islamic values.
I was fascinated by this example that you brought up in class. It is very interesting how other societies outside of the industrialized ones construct things such as gender and sexuality and how it often times is not nearly as rigid or dichotomized in those societies. It definitely makes you think that it is the structures in these industrialized societies, then, that must be the cause of this rigidity in sexuality and gender construction. The white patriarchal structures that are perpetuated in these industrialized societies characterize these dichotomies, and countries and societies that have not had such a history of white patriarchal power do not exhibit the same limitation system. Very interesting, just food for thought!
When discussing the issue of “Disability” in class, I felt that this had a great connection to Frida. Although Frida was disabled, she did not let that affect her life. Instead, she did what she wanted to and she strived to achieve her goals. Many people would have taken the disability and would have dwelled on it. Instead, Frida embraced it and she used it to her advantage. Even though being as sexual as Frida was throughout the film is not good, Frida showed how she used her disability to advantage.
Also, the presentation also brought up a great topic of Frida breaking social constructions. During Frida’s time, it was not as acceptable to be as sexual as she was. This shows Frida’s independance and her strong personality. Not only was Frida extremely sexual, but she also drank heavily. Like sexuality back then, women consuming that much alcohol was not attractive back then. Lastly, another social construction Frida broke was having an open marriage. Back then, people had marriages between just the two of them and no one else. Instead, Frida went against the norms and had an open marriage where she was inlove with her husband, yet fooled around with other people. I believe this shows Frida’s wonder and fascination with exploring other things in society. Frida broke the traditional norms by stepping out of what society said was fit to be. This shows the strong person that she was.
The main idea behind Frida Kahlo is that she does not meet the traditional standards of a Mexican woman. Her beauty was unconventional and internal. She exudes a lot of confidence and is secure of her body. She has the skills to be domestic but is still able to make her own money. She is assertive and hypersexual but also exhibits submissiveness. She also seems very fluid with her sexuality. She wore both women and men’s clothes. She was also among the only few successful surrealist woman.
Another defining trait that Kahlo had was that she was disabled, this became traumatic and life changing. Frida on the other hand did not let that “cripple” her. She still did what she wanted to do and more. She worked, painted, went places regardless of her pain, and engaged in sexual affairs. To me that was the most shocking. Usually when you think of a disabled person, you picture someone who undesirable with no desire to be intimate. I am not sure what role Salma Hayek had in personifying Frida as a “sex symbol,” but it seems like for a disabled person Frida felt empowered. Of course she had her emotional and physical scars but she did not let that hold her back. It could have been that her sexuality was the only aspect of her body that she was able to control. Therefore sex became more of a need versus more then just a “f***” as her husband would say.
In terms of Salma Hayek the article had mentioned that without Frida, she would’ve not been the actor that she is today. It almost implied that she would’ve ended playing the same typical roles, just like Sofia Vergara. Also I think its interesting that they chose someone who in our society is considered to be “pretty” to play someone who is somewhat unattractive. It put an odd twist to Frida’s character. To me Salma, reminded of us Frida’s feminine qualities and placed her in a more desirable light. It also made us focus on the strength of Frida versus other issues related to her appearance. At one point I forgot she even had that prominent unibrow.
Lisette, you made some good points in the disabled paragraph. Frida was just a person who enjoyed sex just like many people do. Just because she was disabled and a woman did not stop Frida from doing what she loved. It is almost comparable to how much she loved to paint and how much her work meant to her. When she was supposed to stay in bed, Frida found a way to remain in bed but still make it to her art show. This woman was determined to get what she wanted when she wanted it. It was not the fact that she was disabled that made her strong, it was her personality that made her who she was and that was visible in the opening scene when she is dressed however she pleases for the family picture.
One of the things I loved about the movie Frida and Frida as a character/person was the ability both had to completely shatter dichotomies. Society and its structures have created numerous dichotomies that its people feel they must fit into. Patriarchy, and white patriarchy at that, has created these rigid dichotomies to keep people inside the identity box, and to make anyone who does not fit into this rigidity feel displaced and like an outsider. Frida does not let this rigidity define her however, and she shatters numerous dichotomies throughout the film such as the femal/ male feminine/masculine and heterosexual/homosexual. Frida does not let gender and traditional gender roles define her in the least. She has both feminine and masculine actions and personality traits, and she is proof that you can be in between the traditional dichotomies of feminine and masculine. She harbors traits of both in her identity, as most people do, but she is not ashamed to display both and ho the exist simultaneously. Similarly, Frida also shatters sexual dichotomies. She draws attention to the continuum of sexuality instead of the black and white version of sexuality that only takes into real consideration the two classifications of heterosexual and homosexual, with bisexual somewhere in the middle. This continuum is something that is discussed frequently in Womens Gender and Sexuality Studies, and it is the idea of multiple types of sexuality that one can define themselves as such as pansexual and polysexual and asexual which were all discussed in class. What is important here is that the sexuality that someone is depends on how they define their own sexuality, not on how others define it. And certainly not on how society tries to define it by making it seem that only two rigid options exist. Frida inspires people to think outside the box about their gender identity and roles as well as about their sexuality and challenges them to overthrow societies dichotomies and replace them with their own definition of themselves. Never let others define you, and never let society define you.
I completely agree with @carolynluby’s statement “She harbors traits of both in her identity, as most people do, but she is not ashamed to display both and how the exist simultaneously.” Everyone possesses masculine and feminine qualities. We all cry, we all love and we all have moments where we act aggressively. The terms masculine and feminine, in my opinion, should not be used to describe the qualities of a person. It boxes people into their set gender and doesn’t allow people to express themselves as who they truly are. This is why I loved Frida, because she did not fear expressing herself. She was not locked into a gender box and her identity was not formed for her. Yes, she was not perfect but because of her refusal to be boxed in, she became a form of empowerment for women.
I remember learning about Frida in one of my spanish classes about Frida, and the first thing that came out of someone’s mouth was something regarding her unibrow, and why she didn’t just wax it. I think that was kind of the reaction she was looking for, and a reaction she continues to receive to this day. She wanted people to have their eyes on her, if not only for the attention, then to call attention to the – for lack of a better word – strangeness of our society. By using her sex, aesthetics, and art, she challenged the notion of what a woman could be.
I found it very interesting that our article labeled Frida as bisexual without her consent. She did not identify as any kind of sexuality as far as I know, and I found it strange that she was labeled as such. Just like how Frida didn’t really fit into male or female, she doesn’t fit into any sexual label either. Frida didn’t fit into much of anything, but I think this is the way she wanted it. By not constraining herself to any boundaries, she was able to do so much more with her life and her art. By living a life free of limitations, even though she did have so many factors that should have held her back, she has inspired so many who came after her.
Adam, you make a really interesting point when you state that Frida’s unibrow was no mistake and was an integral part of the person she was. It was definitely for show and proved further how important it was to Frida to be unique and show qualities that not many women have before.
Frida was a woman who did not want to conform to the norm. She wanted to step outside the lines and wanted people to see that she was no ordinary woman. Every action, every outfit, every painting was a representation of who she was and who she wanted you to see her and respect her as. When she wanted to look ethnic and represent her Mexican heritage when traveling and showing off her work, she wore her traditional Mexican ethnic clothes. During one of the earlier scenes, where we saw Frida drink an enormous amount of strong alcohol, more than most men, that was her way of showing the crowd that she is tough and she should be taken seriously, and not just be treated as any other female. This to me, doesn’t necessarily mean she has masculine characteristics. To say that she has masculine characteristics, we are automatically grouping these characteristics into dominance and respect, but in reality, we are the ones who create the definitions of what masculine and feminine is. As said in class many times, these are false binaries. Everyone’s definition of masculinity and femininity are different (as we discussed in class, my image of a feminine woman was far different from someone else’s definition). I don’t think Frida would have cared to categorize herself in anyway, she simply just lived the way she wanted to.
This movie was my favorite to watch thus far in class because it told more of a story than the others. I felt as if we could feel the pain that Frida was going through and actually get to know her as a person. It was a real representation of Frida and adding the raunchy scenes and the hyper-sexualized scenes made it seem more real unlike the past movies. I felt like in Selena, their goal was to have her be seen in a certain way and they did not want to show too much of the negative things that could have been going on in the back of the scenes, but with Frida, they portrayed it in such a beautiful way that made the story worthwhile to watch.
One part of the reading that we never really touched on in class was the section where Selma Hayek’s attitude on ethnic authenticity is mentioned. The article states that, for Selma, her physical resemblance, her Mexican identity, and her fluency in Spanish all reinforced her ethnic authenticity in playing Frida. When interviewed about this, Hayek discussed that she thinks that other actresses that do not speak good Spanish are “fake” Latinas. She also stated that only someone who speaks the correct language, is from the same country, and physically looks like the actual person is authentic enough to play the role of that person. I found this very interesting because of the large debate about whether it was acceptable that Jennifer Lopez played Selena. According to these ideas, Selma Hayek probably doesn’t believe JLo should have ever played as Selena because she doesn’t meet these authentic standards.
I found this aspect of the reading very interesting too. The fact that Selma Hayek emphasized her ‘ethnic authenticity’ to promote herself in the role as Frida, and consequently as a representative of Mexican women, is very interesting. I find that this is very problematic, because the notion of authenticity is by its nature a very complex one. Who gets to claim authenticity and who defines it? Does Selma Hayek – just because she was born in the same nation as Frida – have the privilege/right to assert authenticity?
And yet, for claims against JLo to portray Selena, JLo claims she is authentic because she is similar to Selena in terms of personal experience and body type. This becomes another form of authenticity, that at the same time betrays ethnic lines.
But in a world of Hollywood and even in terms of culture, I find that nothing is truly ‘authentic.’ Culture is very much founded upon borrowing and blending, and being essentialist about it can put up very obstructive boundaries. This idea of ethnic authenticity that Selma Hayek champions, for instance, is supposed to appeal to the Mexican audiences, but perhaps at the expense of a greater Latin audience that can and will also identify with Frida and the messages within the film. It seems that ‘authenticity’ serves to divide, rather than unite.
I really was admired how in the movie Frida showed the people, she didn’t need any kind of pity because even though she had alot of problems in her life, she broke the walls that everyone put in her path. Like when the doctor told her how she couldn’t go to her own art gallery which it upset her; however she made her people to put her into the gallery without leaving her bed. And she shows in the movie when she did the tango with the ladie, she wasn’t afraid or shy about dancing with another woman and took it from the other guy. Frida shows a lot of power and confident as a woman in her time because in Mexico, women weren’t treated with respect or not taking seriously. Frida instead, she did amazing paintings and made herself famous with her determination of going forward even when she lost her foot or had the illness that she got.
Sexualities of not only Latinas, but people in general were addressed in class while talking about this movie. It is commonly assumed that those with disabilities do not concern themselves with sex or sexual desires because the possibility does not exist for them. Unfortunately this provides a “freak” element to those who are public about their desires.
In TLC’s show The Little Couple, Little People, Big World and even the show Here Comes Honey Bo Bo these people are exploited to the point of carnival caricatures. In The Little Couple the audience follows to married people, both with dwarfism, through all their daily activities. Similarly, Little People Big World is about a dwarf couple who have a family of both “normal” sized children and a small son. The shows demonstrate how they struggle to do the most mundane tasks we take for advantage and emphasize the issues with raising a family as a dwarf couple.In Here Comes Honey Bo Bo viewers watch an obese mother taking care of her overweight daughters. We watch June go on dates with her boyfriend (who insinuates the probability of them having sex) and the pregnancy of one of her teen daughters.
When we think of sex it is never between those suffering from disabilities, and neither that struck by certain diseases. Women, like Frida, who are sick, are assumed not to have a sex drive or be depicted as sexually attractive. This is common in women suffering from breast cancer, post mastectomy. These body parts, which are so closely tied into women’s femininity and attractiveness, are lost, thus leaving the survivor often with low self-esteem, depression, or shame. I work at the local community center, and one day there was a woman trying to enter the pool with a t-shirt on (we don’t allow this due to safety reasons and the cotton clogs the filters). When I approached the woman about the policy she pulled me aside and confessed she had just had a mastectomy and did not want to draw attention to it in front of other patrons. The shame she felt in her body was very startling, because she was an attractive, young woman.
In our culture a crippled, sick individual like Frida would never be dubbed sexual. However, after viewing her life story it is clear that she is a figure of fire, spark, romanticism, and yes, erotic passion.
I think Frida’s disability was an important part of what shaped her. I think she did not want to live the life of a usual person who is disabled because of everything Hailey said above. Your experience at work reminded me of a comment a friend of mine recently said, “going through menopause is horrible for a woman because you can no longer produce children. It’s like you’ve lost your purpose.” This comment shocked me because I personally do not believe that women are only meant to reproduce. There is a stigma on women who are not considered “normal” and this stigma does not allow people with disabilities to live normal lives. These people enjoy sex just as much as people who have not had a mastectomy, or who are able to reproduce, or who are disabled or disfigured. Frida was disabled and could not have children yet she chose to live a exciting, adventurous life. She serves as a contradiction to the stereotypes placed upon these groups of people.
When Frida and her femininity was questioned it created quite a stir within the class. It is true that there were qualities to her that made her seem less feminine but, as educated individuals we cannot categorize any one who seems a bit different. As the presenters stated in their slideshow, Frida was not just a woman. Frida was a disabled, Mexican wife who became an artist. Her multiple identities are what created such a fascinating woman.
What fascinated me about Frida was her hypersexuality. The idea that women were hypersexual in the early 1900’s seems unheard of. But when Frida is brought into our discussion we try to say, “She is enforcing the stereotype that Latinas are hypersexual”. Truthfully, I just think Frida is just Frida. She always went to the beat of her own drum and never second guessed her decisions. The scene when Frida was eating breakfast with a woman she had slept with was just Frida being herself.
Frida is about identities. The concept, intersectionality, a theory stating that various categories such as gender, race, class, and sexual orientation interact on multiple and often simultaneous levels, contributing to social inequality is the perfect way to explain the film. Everyone has a variety of identities that make them who they are but yet most people hide their identities that go against the social norm. Frida, a Mexican woman who experimented sexually and who was handicap, was not afraid to live her life the way she wished to. Some may say that it seemed as if she craved attention or needed her husband’s approval, but in my opinion, Frida was not afraid to experience life. She was sexual and creative in her art pieces, fearless of expressing her authority or emotion. I do not know if I would necessarily categorize Frida as a feminist, but I do believe that this film portrayed female empowerment. I really enjoyed this film and have become a fan of both Salma Hayek and Frida!!
October 9th, 2012
I agree that Frida has a lot of inner beauty, and I think that is what is truly reflected with her artwork, but I don’t think she “broke” any sort of dichotomy. If that were the case, a lot more people would not be superficial and this idea of what is beautiful or not would have been broken. And Salma hayek, who is stunningly beautiful and is a great actress, used make up and an unibrow to play Frida. Its not as though she looks like that normally, or walks down the red carpet in those clothes, and gets comments on how beautiful she looks. Salma is a great actress, who is Mexican, and had a passion for playing this role, and that why I think she was successful. There was no line that salma redefined by playing this role, and yes, everyone has their inner beauty side, and Salma may very well have one, but since we only know her as an actress and not as a person, or an artist like Frida who’s artwork portrayed hers, I don’t think its fair to say Salma’s inner beauty was evoked in this or to define that to begin with.
November 6th, 2012
I wanted to comment and address how well the presentation was done and how the highlighted items to discuss were great new ideas, unlike a lot of what we have been dwelling on in past discussions. I especially liked the idea of not trying to define her sexuality, where as unlike most of the discussions, which I am also guilty of in my discussion, we focused on just her physicality and sexual being. Whether or not she had sex with men or women is not what matters, but that she took things into her own hands and became the artist she wanted to be. And I agree that we shouldn’t try to define if she was straight, a lesbian, or bi or anything if she didn’t feel the need to do so when she was alive. Her individuality is what showed, especially in her artwork, and I would rather remember her based on her artwork rather than her decisions or sexual orientation.
Additionally, although I consider it more of a cry of attention, I agree that she did break social “norms”. Being a mexican woman in the 1920’s was not the most wonderful role to play. Households were very patriarchal, and it’s not as though mexico was gleaming of wealth. She did what she wanted to do, regardless of what her mother wanted, or what other’s thought and she became one of the only well known female fine artists. That is more than what most women of that time could say for themselves, especially if you bring in her ethnicity. And whats even greater that was also dwelled on in the discussion and presentation is that she was technically disabled, yet she refused to have people look down on her. She took control of her life, regardless of her physical state, at any age ranging from when she broke her back from the accident on the bus, all the way to when she was confined to her bed. I think Frida shows some source of empowerment in portions of the film that I wish more people paid attention to rather than scenes like where she’s with other women.
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