When a friend told me Frida Kahlo attended her only solo gallery show in her bed, I had to research it. I knew Frida created lying down because chronic pain is a blight, but never fancied the possibility of such a bold move. Many disabled and neurodivergent artists must create lying down at some point in their lives. But, most of us would never attend something in bed.
"At first it seemed that Kahlo would be too ill to attend, but she sent her richly decorated fourposter bed ahead of her, arrived by ambulance, and was carried into the gallery on a stretcher."
Frida completely embraced her most authentic self in that moment. Who would go, not only to an event in bed, but elaborately deck out the damn bed?! There was no passing up her once-in-a-lifetime chance to see something she worked her ass off for, and there was absolutely no timid apology.
I'm one of those chronic-pain crips who is also fat (I know Frida wasn't). Most of my days are spent in bed. My studio/writing space/crafting station is a mattress on the floor.
I don't talk about certain aspects of my life much because of judgement. Most people who find out how I live just assume I'm a "lazy fatty" who ruined her body with "smothering lard". They didn't see toddler me crying herself to sleep because of back and hip pain in the late 1980's. They only know what they want to know.
Would I ever be brave enough to attend an award ceremony, reading, or other event lying down? Doubtful. Did it change something inside of me to know Frida did? Definitely.
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