Before we begin, let me ask you if you were to see both of these women on the street (without the thorns), who would you consider put together? Who would you ask about their skin regimen or where they got their eyebrows done? And if you're attracted to women, who would you ask out on a date? Living in New York, a place where appearance and fashion is huge, I often wonder about this so-call adage of internal beauty and do we really care about it in sustainable ways?
About a week ago an artist on Tumblr remade Frida's painting, Self Portrait with Necklace of Thorns, and gave Frida a makeover.
Needless to say the image went viral and the artist was immediately attacked and accused of being racist, sexist, and stupid. However, I thought this exercise was pretty genius, if we contextualize this image and look at it through the lens of what is beauty in today's society.
According to Statista.com, the cosmetic industry in the U.S. last year banked $54.89 billion dollars.
Let's us not act that this artist made Frida lighter, her nose smaller, or the other ridiculous comments I read on this post. The artist put makeup and some tweezers to her face. So, unnaturally, Frida appears to be more even toned and less hairy.
And yes, Frida may have been challenging Eurocentric values on beauty and womanhood, but are you, are we? Are we modeling those non-Eurocentric ideals ourselves? Or are we attracted to more of the so-called refined women and masking our natural faces with primer, foundations, blush, and lipstick?
With the social media craze of selfies and makeup tutorials on Youtube, are we really mad at this artist who is challenging Frida's ideals? Or are you projecting your own issues of beauty and self-worth?
All in all, let's get real on what our true motivations are and stop quoting our artists, historians, and scholars and fully become them, stand on the front-lines with your life. Or just shut the type up.