Frida Kahlo’s ‘Self-portrait with cropped hair’ painted in 1940 was her first self-portrait after the divorce from her husband Diego Rivera. Diego had admired her long, dark hair, therefore she cut it all off to represent her desire for freedom and independence. She also replaces her feminine, traditional Mexican dress that she usually wore in her self portraits with a dark, oversized suit, most-likely that of her ex-husband. The suit is extremely similar to the one worn by Diego in her painting “Frida and Diego Rivera’, painted in 1931 when they were together.
She sits on a stool in what appears to be a vast, empty land, surrounded by chunks of her long hair that has been cut off. In her right hand she is depicted holding a pair of scissors, and in her left hand she clutches a singular lock of her hair.
The text on the top of the canvas are the lyrics from a famous Mexican song during the time the portrait was painted. The lyrics translate to “See, if I loved you, it was for your hair, now you’re bald, I don’t love you anymore.” Contributing more to portray her toxic relationship with her then ex-husband.
As seen through this painting and some of her other paintings, while married Frida was more in touch with her traditions and her ‘Mexican-sider’, however when divorced she conformed more to the western side, as proven by her suit.
Overall in the painting she depicts a ‘masculine’ image, contradictory to most her self portraits showing her femininity. However, she still wears dangling earrings and dainty heeled shows, depicting how she now fulfils both the roles from her marriage and how she was now self-reliant.