photos / Anna Bloda
story / Gina Tron
Cunt Mafia, who goes by Contessa, is not only a self-described extreme feminist who wants to level the playing fields. She is a proponent that women need to love themselves and each other more and realize how powerful as a gender they are. She says,
“It’s not about the equality of women but about the superiority of woman and a certain type of woman and if you are not in that league then I feel like you’ve already been a drone to society.”
Despite that sentiment though, she says she is more than happy to show girls the light if they are open to be taught. She told me that she feels that these days the heterosexual men are being more feminists, and are more accepting of all types of women. “Women themselves are the ones who hate themselves. That is because of patriarchy. Women since childhood are basically raised to hate themselves.” She mentioned the media and magazines and how they aim to make women feel insecure, giving them the idea that their only worth is attracting the male gaze. “It’s bullshit.”
“The internet is all bullshit,” she claims, “it’s just another fabricated trend. That’s the problem with the world, is a hashtag.” Contessa feels that westernized society is set up to allow women to be free. “When you’re taught to see something from another gender’s point of view that is how you learn about yourself and about society.” She hinted that it may be a bit easier for women to identify as men as so many males are the protagonists in stories and the media that women have no other choice but to replace the main character with themselves.
Through her music, Contessa explores and combats words and messages that she feels are destructive to women’s progression. Take her song Reign in Ratchet for example. She said she was playing with the word ratchet because women are often taught to think that rachet is a negative way to describe a woman. “What I did was take the word ratchet and make it for women, make it something positive.” She added “If someone wants to call me ratchet every fucking day of my life, then I’m gonna make it nice.”
She took something negative and twisted it around to make it positive. Embracing it. She compared it to the average rap song. “The beat goes hard and the men are saying some of the most offensive disgusting female-degrading lyrics.” With Reign In Rachet, she made a song with a beat that she claims is just as hard but the lyrics are female-empowering.
“WE DANCING ON STRIP POLES IN MINK STOLES – NEXT THING YOU KNOW YOUR FACE IS FULL OF BULLET HOLES, YOU THOUGHT WE JUST HOES – NOW YOU’RE BEING SOLD – TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER – WE TOP OF THE TOTEM POLE!”
For the song’s music video she featured a fun Bushwick block party vibe, starring friends and badass in-your-face styles. Never one to want to be squeezed into a label, Contessa always had her own thing going on and the only constant was that she did what she wanted and didn’t really care what anyone thought. Back when she was a high school student in Suffolk County, Long Island, she had a calendar and would refer to it when choosing her outfits. She never liked to repeat a look, and seemed to have a lot of fun with it. “One day I would be raver goth, the next day id be punk rock, then next day id be hardcore, the next I .. whatever I felt like.” To this day, she still does what she likes and concentrates on pieces rather than brands or styles. “I am a piece collector. I go to odd shops and I’ll see what they have. I’ll buy a thirty cent barrette and make it my look for the night. I just find things that I find interesting and that’s how my style became very unique.”
Contessa has two Cunt Mafia EPs coming out soon, one called NIGHT WIFE and the other, CULT CLASSIC. She is working on new music videos and concentrating on live performances. “ Right now what I’m in love with is my performance art and exploring my body through it.”
MORE PHOTOS HERE.