Thursday, July 14, 2016

Why Do I Have a Frida Kahlo Dog Costume?

"Try this costume weird costume on Sisci!" And then I was handed...this. It's a pink, black, and green tutu with a matching headpiece adorned with flowers...and a unibrow. I don't think you can see the eyebrow in the picture, but trust me it's there. The tag identifies it as a "Frida's Assistant" Halloween costume from Petco's Bootique line. I had to figure out what in the world I was looking at, and now I feel ridiculously uncultured.
Petco Bootique Frida's Assistant dog costume
Photo by Erin Koski

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter famous for her self portraits. Plagued with health problems, she often found herself alone, so she felt she was the subject she knew best. She had some minor recognition as an artist during her lifetime, but was not truly appreciated until decades after her death in 1954.

Frida Kahlo painted herself with a unibrow. The eyebrow is a very distinctive. Inmany of her surreal paintings, Frida also depicts herself wearing flowers on her head.

I'm not sure when exactlay dresing up as Frida Kahlo became a thing, but Beyonce did it for Halloween two years ago. I found a blog post about artist costumes for kids dating back to 2012. Here's a Babycenter article from 2011. A blog post from 2010. Another page from 2008. I guess dressing up as Frida isn't just a new thing.

Apparently the artist's actual wardrobe had been locked away since her death, and was not discovered until 2004. They found some wonderful things in there, and I've had a lot of fun reading about Frida and her life. She was a woman who truly embraced herself, facial hair and all, and spent her life defying cultural expectations. That's something I admire deeply, and I can't believe I didn't know who she was before I got this dog costume. I wanted to share, in case you didn't know about Frida either.

Check out the Frida Kahlo artist page on Artsy to see some of her works, as well as information on past and upcoming exhibitions.

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