Sex, humour and punchlines: an uninhibited self-made woman
Last year she admitted to the Times: "Pretending to be a rich person is probably the hardest acting I’ve ever had to do". Born into a modest family with immigrant parents living in Queens, Nora Lum – her stage name is Awkwafina – has certainly paved her own way in life. From rap music to the movies via TV and YouTube, this young woman’s career has seen a dazzling turn in the past two years.
Thrust into the limelight thanks to My Vag, whose raw lyrics quickly went viral in 2012, Awkwafina started her career in music. “Awkwafina is a genius and her vagina is 50 times better than a penis” she declares without frills or metaphors: we were warned. Written in response to rapper Mickey Avalon’s track My Dick provoking violent criticism from certain feminists, My Vag re-appropriates the codes of rap where men loudly proclaim the superiority of their sex and their ascendancy over women. Hers is a sort of trash-feminism, where the terms pussy and vag are no longer taboo nor insulting but symbolise a powerful feminine identity. In that highly masculine environment, the singer’s lyrics went off like a bomb, upsetting a lot of people. Reflecting her commitment to fighting prejudice and sexual harassment, they denounce a very sexist universe tinged with racism.