Her hair is well laid in a ponytail with a beautiful red ribbon adorning it. Her eyebrows meet at the centre, and her eyes look sharp as she stares towards the viewer. Viewers can also see the red ribbon stretching to her neck and extending to her pet monkey by her side. The small monkey seems to look at the viewers, too, with one hand on Frida’s neck and the other limb on her shoulder. They seem to pose for a photograph.
Kahlo has a small nose and full lips that neither smile nor frown. Her cheeks have a red-like blush that just accentuates how beautiful she was. With the portrait only visible 'shoulders upwards', Frida has a gold and black themed dress or robe. In the background, viewers can see various huge green leaves that reflect the beautiful Mexican vegetation. These leaves are well-nourished, veined, and interesting to look at.
She loved her pet monkeys, and this can be seen in 55 of her portraits. In most of these portraits, the monkeys sit close to her, mostly near her face, where they physically hold her in some way. It is a protective, gentle, and friendly gesture. Most cultures view monkeys as stubborn, naughty, and primal animals. They are seen as a mirror image of humankind, symbolising man's ability to control their urges. Looking at renaissance art, monkeys were used to show men trapped by their urges and desires.
However, Kahlo showed a different picture with her friendliness to monkeys. To her, monkeys are not primitive animals but tender and gentle. In the Mexican myths, monkeys were hugely associated with lust and fertility. Art analysts believe that Frida's love and connection to these animals were due to her inadequacy and inability to bear children. In all Kahlo’s paintings, these monkeys seem loyal, and viewers can feel the connection between her and the pets. It is a pictorial bond.
In her paintings, the monkeys often sit on her shoulder or back, bringing in the 'monkey on your back' aspect. The phrase is commonly used to portray or illustrate an issue, burden, or problem in some nature. Some analysts felt that Frida was telling the world about her burdens. Today, the painting sits at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and attracts thousands of viewers.