Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

Due to her life-long argument against female objectification, Kahlo is an inspiration for women to break out of gender stipulations. By rectifying her body and apprehending it in the paint, she still summons and flouts the roles and rules society placed on her. Through her art, even after death, she refuses to let her individuality be boxed, wrapped and ribboned by anyone, and does not remain silent about her uniqueness. In her work, her gaze is never tractable. Even when subjugated, it speaks against the compact, pleasurable descriptions that women are forced into.

Unfortunately, their battles are far from won. Women might be less dependent on men in the present society, but they are still too often treated as objects that only reflect what men want. The act of focusing on individual female body parts to ‘celebrate’, or rather objectify them, which the male Surrealists enjoyed, is still very much a part of both men’s and women’s mindsets today. While men are seen as whole individuals, women are reduced to cleavages and legs. This objectification of women is used to sell movies, TV shows, cosmetics, magazines and clothes amongst many other products. And with the help of these products, this objectification is reiterated to the future generation of girls so they grow up thinking that while men can have many body types, it is the norm for a woman to have only one. To counter these societal entrapments, we need to keep on finding female inspirations who broke and break through these stereotypes; we need to remember to say “I want!”, before “I want to be wanted.”

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