Strange Like Me: Cartoon Inspired By Frida Kahlo Quote Offers Beautiful Message

ComicsHistoryQuotes 9 Comments

Gavin Aung Than, a freelance cartoonist based in Melbourne, Australia, “takes inspirational quotes from famous people and adapts them into cartoons.” One of his latest, “Strange Like Me,” is based on a quote by Frida Kahlo, the legendary painter and feminist icon with whom Gavin was not that familiar until a friend suggested her.

It was only after doing a crash course in all-things-Frida that Gavin said, “I learned about her remarkable life, powerful paintings and totally unique personality.” So in doing this cartoon (see full piece below), he not only got an invaluable women’s history lesson, but delivered a beautiful message to the rest of us. Love that!

And Frida is just one of many extraordinary women whose quotes Gavin has cartoon-ized on his Zen Pencils blog. Other quotable subjects include Helen Keller, Aung San Suu Kyi, Malala Yousafzai, Anne Frank, Marie Curie, J.K. Rowling, Sylvia Plath, Eleanor Roosevelt, Maya Angelou, Amy Poehler, etc. There are lots of men featured, as well, from “poets to Presidents, comedians to colonels,” just about anyone, who Gavin says, “inspires me, challenges my way of thinking, wakes me up or just makes me laugh.”

Added bonus: Gavin includes a mini-biography with each of his cartoons so you can get to know the person behind the featured quote.


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  • Marina Wood


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  • anon

    when i was eleven or twelve, i had been getting teased for having thick, dark arm hair and a hint of facial hair. i had begged my mom for laser hair removal, just like this cartoon. instead of encouraging me to be proud of who i was, or using examples of other strong, beautiful women who had dark hair, she paid for laser hair removal. i was too young to have made that decision at no more than 13 years. i wish she had done what this parent did, for many reasons besides the fact that the lightening gel bleached my skin.

    it’s hard to look different from everyone else, and it’s totally normal to want to blend in. the strength comes from resilience and confidence that who you are is beautiful and worthy. i could have gotten that lesson without the hair removal. (plus it’s expensive…?!)

  • Skole Skab

    As a child, I refused my parents’ offer to have my 2 jutting, pointy teeth capped and straightened. They’re mine. I didn’t and still don’t care about “the prevailing standard,” and I didn’t need to set a trend…I just don’t need to modify my body so dramatically in the hopes that people who are obsessed with appearance MIGHT decide to take another look at me… Fitting in isn’t priority number one!

    Part of why Kahlo was such a remarkable artist was the unusualness of her life, from her mixed ancestry to the disabling trolley car accident to her appearance. If she focused on fitting in and being one of the girls, or if her mother had forced her to do so, I truly doubt she would have produced the art that still moves people a century later. Meeting appearance standards, doing body modifications to look “right”, and trying in general to fit in with people who would reject us over something as insignificant as facial hair is a massive effort and a very slippery slope toward losing a lot of what makes you YOU.

    If we’re going to make this a story about “shaming,” a word that has in my view lost all meaning, have you forgotten about the girls at the top of the page, who are shaming their peer for her natural, well-groomed appearance and completely ignoring everything else about her? If resisting the shame that others are dumping on you is now a form of shaming those people back…then words don’t mean anything anymore, and conversation is just about pointing fingers of blame.

    So yes, I would work on my daughter’s facial-hair anxiety in every way I could, but I would not “laser my own kid” to fit in with a group of girls–a mini-society–whose values I reject.

  • Erica Gutierrez

    I wish this was a poster in the NYC subways instead of the current breast augmentation, weight loss pills and other body shaming ads!

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