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What Would Frida Do? by Arianna Davis

What Would Frida Do?


We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Arianna Davis, on your first book!

by Arianna Davis

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Quick take

What can we learn from Frida Kahlo? This fun, feminist book is both a portrait of the artist and inspirational guide.

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  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MarriageIssues

    Marriage issues


Revered as much for her fierce spirit as she is for her art, Frida Kahlo stands today as a brazen symbol of daring creativity. She was a woman ahead of her time whose paintings have earned her generations of admirers around the globe. But perhaps her greatest work of art was her own life.

What Would Frida Do? explores the feminist icon's signature style, outspoken politics, and boldness in love and art, even in the face of pain and heartbreak. The book celebrates her larger than life persona as a woman who loved passionately and lived ambitiously, refusing to remain in her husband's shadow. Each chapter shares intimate stories from her life, revealing how she overcame obstacles by embracing her own ideals.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of What Would Frida Do?
What Would Frida Do?


The streets of Mexico City’s southern neighborhood Coyoacán are quiet. Colorful houses with intricate iron gates dot avenues named after cities in Europe: Paris, Berlin, Madrid. Suddenly, on Calle Londres, the stillness is broken. Dozens of people are buzzing about, some standing on their toes to get a glimpse at the front of a line that wraps around the block. From 1907 through 1954, this electric-blue house was home to Frida Kahlo.

Since 1958, “La Casa Azul” has been known as Museo Frida Kahlo, or the Frida Kahlo Museum, a donation from the artist’s husband, Diego Rivera, who wanted the home he shared with his wife to become a tribute to her work. And more than six decades after her death, the house still feels full of life.

When I first walk through the tall green entryway beneath the words “Museo Frida Kahlo,” I’m greeted by a large patio surrounded by walls so vibrantly blue they almost hurt the eyes; a jungle-like assortment of greenery and cacti hugs the trunks of palm trees that stretch toward the sky. Before heading inside, I spot a small stone bench off to the side and sit down to drink it all in. I close my eyes to focus on the sound of water sprinkling from a fountain; the autumn air is crisp and cool, and the scent of earth and moss clings to my skin. Overhead, leaves sway and birds caw cheerfully. And then, when I open my eyes, she’s there: a young Frida Kahlo limping through the garden, her skirt sweeping the floor as she hums “Cielito Lindo” to herself. Her hairless dog, Señor Xolotl, scurries behind her. When the front door swings open, she turns, a radiant smile spreading across her face. “Diego!” she cries. I smile, too.

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Why I love it

To know Frida Kahlo’s work is to love her. And to live life by her rules is to live boldly.

Author and journalist Arianna Davis first fell in love with Frida as many of us did: watching Salma Hayek’s Oscar-nominated portrayal of the iconic Mexican artist in the 2002 biopic, Frida. But Davis’s first book is so much more than a highlight reel of the artist’s life and work.

Part biography, part love letter, and part how-to guide, What Would Frida Do? both chronicles the rise of “Fridamania”—the cultural obsession with the iconic Mexican artist—since the 1990s and shows the reader how to apply Frida’s fierce feminist ideals to life’s trickiest situations. What would Frida do if she needed to find her inner strength? What would Frida do if she was heartbroken? Readers looking for answers to life’s big questions may find answers by channeling their own inner Frida.

This is one of the most unique and engaging biography-meets-life-guides I’ve ever read. Dip in when you need a bit of inspiration, or read straight through for a complete spiritual reset (which, let’s be honest, we could all use right now). This isn’t just self-improvement, it’s a blueprint for living life as the indomitable Frida Kahlo would live it, through triumphs and heartbreaks alike.

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Member ratings (1,669)

  • Ariana L.

    Anthony, FL

    Wow! Read it in about 24 hours... feeling inspired to lead a bold, creative, passionate year that is uniquely “me”. This read was exactly what I needed to jumpstart a new year with an excited mindset.

  • Tara B.

    Damascus, MD

    I’m not usually one for non-fiction, but I really enjoyed this one! Sometimes the author puts in her opinion too often and repeats herself a bit, but I overall had a wonderful time reading this book.

  • Angela T.

    Kempner, TX

    I really didn’t know too much about Frida. She was just the unibrow mustachioed weird artist lady. Arianna obviously not only knows her but admires and loves her. Its obvious in every page of the book

  • Ali M.

    Dallas, TX

    A fun and easy way to learn more about the womxn, activist, and Mexican artist that is Frida Kahlo. Her story is truly inspiring, and I love how the author outlines how it’s represented in her works.

  • Rebecca G.

    Arlington, VA

    everything that I look for in a book: it’s personal, historical, & bingeable. Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist married to another Mexican artist Diego Rivera. she was iconic, original, & passionate.

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