Frida Kahlo’s Eyebrows

For Dr. Andrea Harris

“I was born a bitch. I was born a painter.”

“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me, too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.”

-Frida Kahlo

I was only twelve

when you appeared

in my Spanish textbook.

Long before thick eyebrows

were “on point,”

and before I was a feminist.

There you were,

unashamed in your natural state,

enveloped by tropical leaves.

With a monkey on one shoulder, a cat on the other,

and thorns adorning your neck

perfecting a regal resting bitch face.

Dressed in white, butterflies in your hair

looking fabulous as ever

eyebrows and all.

Now I’m sorry

for cackling with the class

and criticizing your unibrow.

I didn’t know

about outdated gender roles

or bullshit beauty standards,

and I certainly didn’t know

about your art,

and how it would someday enchant me.

All I could think about

was how strange you looked,

and I couldn’t help but wonder

why you chose to include

such an easily erased

aspect of your face.

But in the age of #NoFilter

and body positivity

I couldn’t love you more.

You were a catalyst

for the movements that preach

the values I now cling to.

You are an inspiration

to strange people

all over the world.

Yes, I am here

I am one of the people

who is strange too.

If there was one thing

that I could say to you

I would thank you

for being unapologetically yourself.

For being a bitch.

For being a painter.

Who inspires me to

to be a bitch,

and to be a poet

Who never plucks her eyebrows

Shares selfies with no filter

And pours her strangeness into all that she does

#poetry #womynfluences #RachelRoupp