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Book Review: What Would Frida Kahlo Do?

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Book Description

A contemporary guide to life, love, and happiness inspired by the extraordinary artist Frida Kahlo. Revered as much for her fierce spirit as she is for her art, Frida Kahlo stands today as a brazen symbol of daring creativity. She was a woman ahead of her time whose paintings have earned her generations of admirers around the globe. But perhaps her greatest work of art was her own life. What would Frida Do? explores the feminist icon’s signature style, outspoken politics, and boldness in love and art, even in the face of pain and heartbreak. The book celebrates her larger-than-life persona as a woman who loved passionately and lived ambitiously, refusing to remain in her husband’s shadow. Each chapter shares intimate stories from her life, revealing how she overcame obstacles by embracing her own ideals. In this charming read, author Arianna Davis conjures Frida’s brave spirit, encouraging women to persevere, to create fearlessly, and to stand by their own truths.


I bought this book as an add-on to my Book Of The Month Box. All opinions are mine. Some links may be an affiliate, it doesn’t cost you any extra but helps me support my blog.

In its entirety, I liked this book. I learned so many new things about Frida Kahlo that I had never known before. I felt a connection to her- she dealt with chronic pain, other medical issues, and heartbreak and used art/creativity to express her pain and suffering in such a unique and empowering way.

While the book shared some great information about Frida, it also shared some bad advice. In the book (and movie, which I had to watch after reading this) they showed her love for tequila. It begs to wonder that she drank so heavily because of the pain she was in daily after her accident.

Although drinking was apart of Frida’s story, Davis recommended drinking tequila, which surprised me considering she was offering advice for becoming a better you. I think she misinterpreted why exactly Frida drank.

Before reading this book I didn’t know a lot about Frida besides knowing she was an artist with a unibrow and a floral crown. The writer assumes you know a lot about her though. Between pages there were quotes throughout, I think the use of space would have been better utilized by showing the art pieces mentioned, without me having to stop reading to look them up on Pinterest for context.

I’m still glad that I bought this book, which led me to the movie and Pinterest to see her work. Frida dealt with many challenges in life but chose to channel that energy into beautiful, real pieces of art.

When my brother was killed in Afghanistan in 2009, I taught myself to sew for my daughter, and that outlet helped me heal so much. In 2019 I would wake up sick and never get better, surgery and many diagnoses later, art has still been there to help. (I still love sewing but, I can’t do it as long as I used to)

Now I draw and read to help my mental health, concentrating on these tasks can help take my mind off the pain. I spent several days working on my self-portrait, inspired by Frida Kahlo’s work, but with my style.

If you’re interested in learning more about Frida Kahlo, this book is a good choice regardless of its shortcomings. If you follow my blog as a woman/mother with chronic illness, I would highly recommend you find a creative outlet.

Reading, drawing, coloring, etc can all be done perched up in your bed or on the couch on those bad days. Finishing a book, or a drawing can make me feel accomplished even if that’s all I managed to do that day.


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