We Are Lady Parts is about an all-female Muslim punk band, but it’s really about sisterhood, and fierce female friendship, which is my favorite thing in the world. I love everything about it: the heightened style and how it navigates the grounded story line and the fact that one badass creator, Nida Manzoor, wrote the whole thing. We’re seeing Muslim women in niqabs and hijabs, and they’re funny and sexual and badass at music.
This article appears in the Winter 2022 issue of Alta Journal.
It’s about Black and brown women, five Muslim characters, and they’re living their truth unabashedly, unapologetically, and when do we see that? We never see that. And it’s culturally insular, but without worrying about it appealing to the dominant culture. It was created from that authentic place, and its unwillingness to culturally translate for us is what I find so bold and refreshing. We just get plunged into the world of these women without a tourist visa.
I have a creator crush on Manzoor. I’m following the actors on Instagram, because they’re musicians, except for one of them, who doesn’t have Instagram. I listen to Anjana Vasan’s music on Spotify (she plays the show’s lead character, Amina). I’m actually writing a show about indie folk music in East London, and I’m like, How can I work with her? Her voice, in her own music, is just so ethereal and beautiful. Anyway, I’m obsessed with them all, including the creator. But not in a scary way! Don’t write that.
Vasan’s character has all the same sorts of insecurities that I do. She’s got a lot of talent, but she throws up every time she goes onstage. I just had to do a White House panel, and I almost pulled out because I was like, I can’t do this! I was just full of doubt. That was one of the main things that resonated with me.
Somebody told me that this was not a very watched show on Peacock. Which sucks, because it should be! We should have a ton of Muslim shows centering women, men, everything, but we don’t.•
—As told to Robert Ito
We Are Lady Parts streams on Peacock.