Follow, Like, Share, Repost, Unfollow, Unfollow, Unfollow…
Woah! What a week it’s been. I’ve had a couple of balls up in the air with a few landing where I wanted it to, and others not landing at all. That is how life goes, right? You win some and you lose some. Some people work with you and others work against you.
The challenge is how to keep my pace, motivation and stamina to keep pushing forward. I know that owning my own truth and respecting the journey plays an important role in being successful wherever God plants me.
Last week I wrote about my affinity to Maleficent, a Disney fairy Queen, and this week I’ve been reflecting on the life of Frida Kahlo. I was speaking at an event where the theme was inspired by this controversial artist.
I know a little something about what a person goes through when living with physical pain that will only get worse. For this reason I have much respect for Frida Kahlo’s persistence to do what filled her soul and to express her journey with such blunt honesty.
In our age we are largely defined by the visual content that we share on social media platforms. We are able to instantly create a community with similar ideas to us and we quickly find ourselves belonging to a social network.
As a participant in a women empowerment programme earlier this year, I became aware of what makes a good selfie and what makes a great selfie. I’m not shy to admit I’m still hopeless at this. I don’t have a discerning eye for colours, lighting and poses. I just want to capture the moment in case I miss it. And so alas from time to time, you my dear readers will be subject to a few really bad selfies from me.
This new way of living whereby we capture our lives and shared it through visual mediums with the world is exciting. Businesses are flourishing as anyone can now make their products available far more quickly to a wider stream of people. Being a social media expert is also quickly becoming a career for many people.
It’s an exciting time to live in.
I wonder though if Frida Kahlo was alive today, would she enjoy the same level of respect and admiration as she has gained since her death? Would we have “liked” the graphic and violent artwork depicting her physical and emotional pain?
Broken Frame (1944) https://www.fridakahlo.org/the-broken-column.jsp is a graphic portrayal of her semi-nude torso after her back surgery. If that appeared on our timeline would we have clicked “like” or would we have scrolled on because her post would not have improved our own social media presence?
The Two Frida’s (1939) https://www.fridakahlo.org/the-two-fridas.jsp is another symbolic portrayal of Frida Kahlo’s emotional state regarding her husband Diego Rivera. I wonder if this piece would have been reposted or would we have commented on the dress and completely ignored the broken heart?
Oh yes, then there is that facial hair depicted with clarity and confidence in many of Frida’s self portraits. How many people would have unfollowed her on social media after she might have shared one of those pieces?
What would have become of Frida then? What would have happened to her bravery and her self esteem? Would self doubt have set in and would she have stopped painting? What a travesty that would have been? And what a void that would have left for the generations since.
Whether we agree with how Frida expressed herself or not, her influence is undeniable. By using her platform as an artist to mirror her life, and in turn by mirroring the lives of many people who face insurmountable struggles; Frida gave heartache, strength and courage a face. Her work is honest and raw. It is untainted by the influence of how many Instagram followers she lost or gained.
It seems that social media statistics seems is the benchmark for what we decide to feed our intellect and our hearts with. For myself, I hope to remain true by continuously living the truth of my journey with integrity and bravery. Our children need to know that we were more than perfectly taken selfies. They will need to know that we were genuine in our joy as well as in our pain.
So tell your story.
Even when they unfollow you.
Someone, somewhere is waiting for your bravery to set them free.