Performance and Embodied Politics in Favela Funk
Chapter Two: “I Don’t Depend on Men for Shit!”: Favela Funk as Industry and Funkeiras’ Autonomy
Maysa Abusada walks on stage and immediately turns her back to the audience in a July 2013 live performance. The stage lighting accentuates her curvy, muscular brown body. She slowly shakes her hips and butt back and forth, throwing her hair sideways, while her two female dancers, one on each side of the stage, also dance with their backs to the audience and vibrate their hips frantically. Maysa wears a small black outfit that resembles a bikini with shiny golden details in the front that exposes her light brown skin. The fringes along her bust and waistline riot with her movement. After one minute or so, she turns to the audience and asks “where are the independent women here tonight?” Running her fingers through her long hair extensions, she continues, “that woman who doesn’t depend on men for anything, who doesn’t need a man to pay for our hair, who doesn’t depend on men to get our nails done …” She finally proclaims: “Those independent women who proudly say: I don’t depend on man for shit!”
In a December 2014 story in the now-deceased celebrity website Ego, Maysa Abusada tells the reporter that she is scheduled to remove her buttock silicone implants in January of the following year.1 The funkeira ←47 | 48→provides troublesome details of the day-to-day struggles her implants have been impinging on her, including the inability to sit for more than 10 minutes and cutting the length of her shows in half. What is truly striking...
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