‘We Are Lady Parts’ is a comedy series featuring an all-girl punk rock band from London. The story follows the eponymous band, comprised of band members who are all Muslim, as they search for musical success whilst grappling with the social expectations that come with their cultural backgrounds. When the shy but talented Amina joins the band, punk personas and conservative cultural sensibilities clash in ways that are equal parts entertaining, eye-opening and touching. The heartfelt experiences of the protagonists, especially Amina’s, who joins the punk band partly because her bandmate promises to help find her a groom, portray a complexity that is not easily scripted and seems very akin to reality. Let’s take a look at whether ‘We Are Lady Parts’ is actually based on a true story.
Is We Are Lady Parts Based on a True Story?
No, ‘We Are Lady Parts’ is not based on a true story. The complex characters and their blended-culture lives in modern London make for very realistic protagonists. Combined with authentic portrayals of the conservative diaspora families and their cultural nuances, the show feels like a young adult story that actually happened. Its authenticity can be credited to Nida Manzoor, who is the show’s creator, writer, and director.
Nida’s extensive writing and directing experience, coupled with her frustration at the conspicuous lack of authentic portrayals of Muslim women, prompted her to pen the script. Foremost was her aim to break the stereotypical representation of Muslim women in television narratives in favor of a more authentic, diverse portrayal. Her using her own experiences as a diasporic young adult does make the show somewhat autobiographical, but only in the portrayal of the characters and the larger themes of the show, like the protagonists being musicians.
Nida and her siblings made music together as kids, which is an aspect she has brought into the show to such an extent that the soundtrack of her project is written by her siblings and her. She describes her first passion as being music, recalling how she wanted to be a “brown girl Bob Dylan” in her younger days. It seems her songwriting aspirations also translate heavily into the show, with its soundtrack being released in a separate EP containing largely original songs. In a further bid for authenticity, all the characters also play their own instruments on the show.
‘We Are Lady Parts’ focuses heavily on the diversity of Muslim women, which is represented by the distinct and unapologetic characters of each of the band’s members, including their vaping, burqa-clad band manager. Hailing from a conservative background, the show’s creator is well versed with having to hide aspects of one’s personality for fear of being shamed or judged by the community. It is this very fear that she explores, once again using the punk rock band as the antithesis of a conservative and judgemental upbringing. Amina, the band’s lead guitarist who also happens to be in search of a husband, embodies the dualities perfectly.
Hence, despite being a fictional story, the show is populated by characters and situations that reflect the show’s creator’s experiences. The eponymous band Lady Parts is a way for her to portray the renegade, diverse and fiery personalities of Muslim women, in direct contrast to the stereotypical characters generally seen on TV. Nida has described digging deep into her emotional history to give authenticity to the series, which has helped her generate layered and complex characters that proudly revel in their mixed cultural identities.
Read More: Where is We Are Lady Parts Filmed?