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Frida Kahlo was a daughter to Guillermo, who was a German son of Heinrich and Henriette. Due to social instability, they had to move from Hungary to Germany, where they settled till 1872 when they gave birth to their son, Wilhelm. By the time he was 19, he decided to move once again, this time to Mexico. It was in Mexico that he changed his German name Wilhelm to Guillermo, a Spanish corruption of his former name. According to some literature, Guillermo had Jewish ancestry. However, this has since been altered in the official records, perhaps by Farida herself to avoid any links with Nazism.

Farida is said to have intentionally changed dates of birth to coincide with the Mexican Revolution of 1910. It appears that she must have been three years old by the time the revolution started. In fact, in her own writings, she notes claims that her mother would rush them into the house whenever guns began to shoot in the neighborhood. At the age of six, she suffered a devastating polio infection that left her right thighs much thinner than the left, a reality she disguised by putting on colorful dresses that went up to her feet. In some literature, it is also claimed that she suffered a congenital disease called spina bifida. However, this looks quite unrealistic because at the time, it was almost impossible for someone to survive the congenital anomaly. Indeed, it is made more unlikely by the fact that she would participate in sports, including boxing, during her childhood. Later on, in 1925, a bus in which Khalo was travelling had a collision with a trolley. In the process, she suffered enormous injuries including breaking her collarbone, pelvic bone, and the spinal column. These series of injuries left her with dysfunctional reproductive system, and thus she could not bear any kids in adulthood. During her entire life, she lived in great pain as the injuries persistently relapsed causing her a lot of suffering. This was made worse by the fact that she had actually undergone over 30 operations due to the accident. Indeed, she hardly enjoyed a pain-free life (Zamora, 1995).

After the terrible accident, the young lady abandoned her medical career to take up painting. She basically wanted to keep herself busy as she recovered from the effects of the accident. In her paintings, the predominant figure was usually herself, immobile and devastated. Asked why she focused so much on her personal life, Frida would say that being immobile and alone in the house, it was only her image that she understood best. Her parents, however, appeared to support her painting career with her father donating most of the painting materials and her mother making her an easel to enable her to paint from the comfort of her bed. Later on, in her painting career, she met Diego Rivera who had a considerable influence on her styles of painting. She really admired his paintings for long, and one day, she decided to pay him a courtesy call in the Ministry of Education. They talked at length, and Diego committed to help the young lady use her talents to change her life. She was also significantly influenced by the Mexican culture, which was quite visible in the obsession with colorful paintings and the use of dramatic symbolisms. For instance, she frequently used the monkey that is known to symbolize lust in Mexican culture. In addition, her paintings had some elements of Christianity as well as Jewish culture due to her constant interactions with these groups of people (Zamora, 1995).

From her official engagements with Diego Rivera, they later on developed an intimate relationship that led to an official marriage in 1929. However, her parents were vehemently opposed to this marriage as they felt that Diego was only taking advantage of their daughter. Nonetheless, the two had irreconcilable differences and would frequently disagree over every single matter. At some point, Rivera had to tolerate her extramarital relationships, especially those with women. However, Farida had no boundaries and would even have affairs with other men, something that Rivera was never comfortable with. When Rivera got into a relationship with her little sister, she got mad and walked out of the marriage in protest. Although they remarried thereafter, the new arrangements were not less troubled as they would live separately most of the time (Griffiths, 2011). 

The unstable couple became good friends of Leon Trotsky when he ran to Mexico as a political exile escaping the tyrant regime of Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union. While living together, Khalo once again did what she could best; she had an affair with Leon. When Leon’s wife realized this, she insisted that they had to move away from Khalo, and the two headed to Coyoacan, where Leon got assassinated. Farida died at 47 of pulmonary embolism a few days after she had written a note predicting her demise. Having stayed with her the longest, Diego included in his autobiography that Khalo’s death was the most tragic thing ever to happen in his life. Although they constantly differed, he realized he dearly loved the woman (Tibol, 1993).

In conclusion, Khalo had one of the most devastating lives in the world. Since childhood, she seems to have had one problem after the other. This continued right into her marriage ending up without a child. However, it is quite evident that her equally troubled husband Diego did his best to make her happy.  

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