Frida Kahlo: A Snapshot Biography

1932 black and white photograph of Frida Kahlo with a stern expression, gazing directly into the camera. She has dark hair parted in the middle and slicked back into a bun. Her traditional earrings and multiple necklaces add a decorative touch to her simple yet elegant shawl draped over her shoulders.
Frida Kahlo, 1932

It was a misty afternoon on September 17, 1925, in Mexico City, where Frida Kahlo and her boyfriend ran to catch a bus home after spending the day at a street fair, browsing the sights while talking about life and plans. Frida had shared her desire to become a doctor and move to the U.S. to live in San Francisco. She was excited to continue her education from the prestigious high school she attended as one of the few women in her class.

The couple reached the stop, boarding one of the colorful buses. These buses, a new sight in the area were quickly becoming popular, taking much ridership from the previously popular and still safer trolleys. Young people like Frida had, in particular, gravitated to the new buses, which were driven by young and, at times, aggressive drivers. The drivers and passengers shared a youthful feeling of invincibility.

Not long after their boarding, the bus approached an intersection with the trolley. Such crossings were frequent, and near accidents were all too common. But on this fateful day for Frida, the bus driver acted too aggressively, and a trolley hit the bus.

Life changed drastically for Frida in that moment. We won’t go into the details, but her injuries were gruesome. When she arrived at the hospital, doctors decided not to treat her, instead prioritizing patients who they thought had a chance to survive. But her boyfriend refused to accept the diagnosis. He insisted, and the doctors finally relented to his pleas, beginning to treat Frida.

Frida survived that day. And what a life she would live after. The following is her story.

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