Happy birthday, dear Frida
Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderon, polio survivor, ultra-Communist, bisexual Mexican-born daughter of a Hungarian Jew and an indigenous Mexican, and trophy wife of famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, would have been 100 years old Friday. But the combination of the aftereffects of a crippling bus accident, hard drinking and dealing with a philandering husband did her in early.
Oh yeah - and she painted. Mostly vividly symbolic self-portraits, which tell the story of Mexico through the eyes of an intensely feminine feminist who, almost 53 years after her death, is still an icon up there with the Holy Virgin Mother of Guadalupe and the tri-colored flag.
You can find her image on earrings, T-shirts, refrigerator magnets and even purses. But the prize for funky Frida-lisciousness goes to those who practice Kahlo-ism: the worship of Kahlo as "the one true god."
Its tenets include resistance to conformity, creative artistic tendencies and sexy or unique clothing. An altar or shrine of Frida for solo daily prayer is de rigueur, but larger gatherings can convene at any party zone. Pilgrimages to her famously blue house in Coyoacan, Mexico, are strongly encouraged.
But if you can't bear to go without tweezing your eyebrows, don't fret: You can go to the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen at 6 p.m. Friday for music, hors d'oeuvres and a prize for the best Frida costume.
To celebrate, I shall braid my hair with red and green ribbons, paint my nails and put on my fanciest earrings. Perhaps I'll even raise a "tequilito" toast and, if I'm lucky, find a fat muralist to help me paint my house blue.