Real woman, pride and protagonism: the fans’ version of Marilia Mendonça’s legacy

Compilation of fan photos with Marília Mendonça

Real woman, pride and protagonism: the fans’ version of Marilia Mendonça’s legacy

9 November 2021

Compilation of fan photos with Marília Mendonça

Credit, Personal file

The singer Marília Mendonça will remain in the memory of many fans for the moments shared with them at concerts, but above all for the impact her music had on the lives of many of them.

At the request of BBC News Brasil, readers sent messages telling their stories and memories with the “queen of suffering”. We received more than one hundred contributions in 24 hours, including testimonials, photos, videos, poems and statements.

From photography with the singer tattooed on her arm to discussions in therapy sessions, a new attitude towards her own image and dressing room stories (“she told me ‘don’t cry, beautiful, it’s going to ruin your makeup'”), the testimonials illustrate the singer’s legacy, who died prematurely in a plane crash on Friday (11/5), in Minas Gerais.

The testimonies also contrast with derogatory or condescending comments made about Marília’s weight and appearance, which generated widespread debate in the days following her death.

We appreciate everyone’s contributions. We selected some of them (below, in an edited version) for this tribute to the singer:

‘Don’t cry, beautiful, it’s going to ruin your makeup’

Credit, Personal file

I went to see the Patrons show in 2017. I’m hearing impaired (since I was born) and I’m a big fan of Marília Mendonça. They released me to meet her (in the dressing room) and I couldn’t express my love in words. I was very emotional, I cried a lot, and Marília said: ‘don’t cry, beautiful, it’s going to ruin your makeup’, dried my face and hugged me. It was the best day of my life.

Karen Maria Citadini de Campos – Porto Feliz (SP)

‘I never liked backlanders, but I surrendered by pure identification’

I never really liked the sertanejo, I ended up surrendering to Marília Mendonça’s songs out of pure identification. She wrote as if she often knew what each of us was going through or felt. In addition to the strong and imposing voice in the midst of his ravishing smile. A great loss and a great sadness in the heart. I believe that many Brazilians feel like I do, as if we had lost a close person, a relative.

Gheisa Esteves, Rio de Janeiro, RJ

‘Body Pattern’

When Marília started using cropped (piece of clothing that exposes the belly), in 2018, in a good mood, she pointed out that it was not because she had lost weight: “I’m not thin, I called the f… really”. That same year I bought my first cropped.

It wasn’t because she wore it that I was going to wear it. (…) It was the representation, it was the positive influence, it was the happiness to see a person at the height of their success who had the courage to say what they wanted without being rude, arrogant, rude. And that indirectly welcomed people considered outside the standard of female beauty imposed by society, which daily judges our bodies. Marília was authentic in an extremely sexist artistic space.

Meire Meneses – Natal (RN)

‘The friend who gives good advice’

The feeling I have is that I lost my best friend, the one who gave me good advice, fought with me when I needed to, took me clubbing to get over it, hugged me when I cried, put someone on my tape and, most of all, helped me then to OVERCOME me, to be happy.

Danielle Rocha, Rio de Janeiro

‘Real woman’

Credit, Personal file

Photo caption,

Fan tattoo photo with Marilia Mendonça on her arm

She symbolized representation for me, because, like me, she was a real woman, who lived and learned, who cried, who was betrayed, who was changed, who had sad stories about love.

Today, four days after the tragedy, I can’t hear any of the singer’s songs because crying is inevitable, and to make up for it, I tattooed a tribute to her on my arm.

Katrini Rosa Nunes Diniz – Divinópolis (MG)

‘Songs empowered me’

The song’s lyrics I know by heart helped me out of a bad relationship in 2018. He always listened and gave me the strength to bear the pain I was feeling from leaving someone who actually never deserved me and made me suffer a lot.

All of Marilia’s songs empowered me to be a strong, independent woman who didn’t need to be in a relationship to feel complete.

My heart at that moment no longer suffers for those who don’t deserve it, but for the lack of someone who helped me, without knowing it, to rescue my self-esteem and self-love.

‘It was the subject of my therapy’

The excerpt “I fell in love with what I invented about you”, from the song Whose fault is it?, it was once the subject of my therapy. I realized that I was living an unsuccessful love relationship. I am eternally grateful to Marília for that and for all the times she was the soundtrack of my drunkenness with reflection in recent years.

Credit, EPA

Photo caption,

Fans of Marília Mendonça during the singer’s wake, last Saturday (6/11)

“Without imagining, she comforted me. She heard me.”

In 2020, I was suddenly single. So I got to know more about Marília’s songs. Without imagining it, she comforted me. She heard me. She amused me. She cheered me up with lives when everything was so weird (in the pandemic)…

I spent most of the year with her voice ringing at home, in the car, on my cell phone while at work. So I followed this year and will continue in the future.

I don’t have anything big to share. But I think this is also part of it, right?! Sometimes someone means so much to us and we don’t even know how to express, or highlight a moment, or a reason that makes it special. Sometimes it’s for everything. It’s the set.

Paula Costa – São Paulo (SP)

‘I understood that I deserved more’

In 2019, when Marília decided to come to Belo Horizonte to record an album, I was in the beginning of depression, (…) in a very toxic relationship. Listening to music surpasses, I understood, thanks to Marília, that I deserved more!

Débora Aparecida Costa Souza, Belo Horizonte

‘Impossible to talk about her in the past’

I wasn’t used to listening to people from the backlands, but Marília captivated me in an inexplicable way. I fell in love with her. One day she came to my city, in 2017, and it was the best day of my life. With 15 years old – my age at the time -, we have no love disappointments and reasons to identify with Marília’s lyrics. But I didn’t have to, I sang them all as if I identified myself. (…) Marília is sensational, humble, funny and extremely talented. It’s impossible to talk about Marília in the past. Marilia is.

Juliana Vialli, Londrina (PR)

‘Protagonists, never submissive’

We can suffer for love, but being protagonists of our story, never submissive. I made my dream come true of going to Marília’s concert in March 2020, just before the pandemic, with a friend who is also a big fan of hers. It was Marília’s return to the stage after her brief pregnancy leave. We couldn’t predict that this would be her last show in town. It was an unforgettable night! In her final speech, she spoke about the importance of combining motherhood with a career, so that we don’t become bitter people.

‘Between my boyfriend and her, I chose Marília’

Credit, Personal file

Each composition of hers had some special meaning in my life, mainly in my love moments and disappointments too. I only had the chance to go to one of her concerts, in Campina Grande. But I was dating and he had asked me to choose between him or Marília. I chose her and I was very happy.

Alana Pereira da Silva – Barra de Santa Rosa (PB)

‘female voice’

I’ve always loved Sertanejo, but after I heard Infiel, by Marília Mendonça, this connection became even greater. Not because of the identification with the lyrics, but because there is a female voice! And from then on, at my 16, 17 years old, I started to shape my feminist values, of strength and power. Marília, along with other great thinkers, was extremely important in this formation. She showed me that we can come and do what we want and when we want.

Lorena Pimentel Foizer – Brasilia

‘People like us’

Marília, you were a type of artist that I didn’t idolize, because idolatry puts people on an unreachable level. And you weren’t, you were the one who was part of the family, the one who agreed with everything, who sat at the table, told a joke – or a story, as we talk about in Minas -, drank a beer, drank a dose of cachaça, and ate a crackling (but that later on the second it ran after the damage done at the weekend). People like us.

i used your music Intention as a soundtrack of happy moments in a relationship, as I’ve suffered a lot listening to the saddest when that same relationship didn’t work out, but I’ve shrugged my shoulders and sang loud and clear with a smile on my face “No one will suffer alone, all world will suffer” with unrequited love.

Jessica Barbosa – Belo Horizonte (MG)

‘No woman should be content with crumbs’

I saw myself as a woman totally inferior to others, with very low self-esteem. I didn’t accept that the one I loved so much didn’t give a shit. Marília’s songs made me reflect that no woman should be content with crumbs disguised as love. It’s like the song said “the more I go after it, the more it steps”.

Their songs encouraged me and now, more than ever, I value myself and I know what I want in a relationship and especially, what I don’t want.

Maria C Cardoso – Londrina

‘He is heartbroken, but he rises’

Marília represented us very well, the Brazilian woman, warrior, fighter, who takes care of the family, who is a mother, who has a broken heart but stands up, who dances, sings, turns around in her 30s! Empowered woman with attitude! Woman of faith! You who sings and enchants with your suffering, today makes millions cry with a broken heart, and for this evil there is no remedy!

Lidiane Andrade – Buenos Aires

‘She took a giant piece of me’

Credit, Personal file

I am suffering. She took with her a GIANT piece of me. It’s like all my other dreams don’t make sense anymore. I already sang with her! I was in the audience, and she called me! When I hugged her, she said: “this is for you to know that while some throw you up, others want to see you down! Don’t give up”. I didn’t give up (to be a singer), but she’s gone, and consequently my dream too. I made a version of the song whose fault is it to her. She was everything in my career. I will continue, even if incomplete.

Mari Ribeiro, Juazeiro (BA)

‘Part of my life’

Credit, Personal file

Marília Mendonça has been part of my life since the beginning. I will love you forever. Your production has always treated us, fans, with great affection.

Gabriel Gonçalves Sobrinho, Patos de Minas, MG

‘Proud to be a woman’

Marília helped me to understand that we can do anything, (…) that we can always be proud of our history, our trajectory, especially the fact of being a woman. Thank you, my friend with a drink (without even knowing each other).

Natalia Outtes, Recife, PE

‘One of the happiest days of my life’

Credit, Personal file

I knew Marília before she was the phenomenon we all know. I heard a song, I liked it, I identified, I fell in love with the voice, the look… I heard that she would do a show in the city of Crato, Ceará in 2016 or 2017 and I went with a friend. I stood at the foot of the stage, sang, screamed and got to meet her in the dressing room… One of the happiest days of my life! Accessible, attentive, smiling…

Marta Soares Lima – Picos (PI)

Credit, Personal file

I had the honor and opportunity to compose a few times with this GENIUS! I have never seen someone like her, not only in her talent, but in her humility and respect for her partners! Marília left so early, because she already knew things that we are still learning!

Valéria Costa – Goiânia, GO

‘Songs haven’t come out of my head since the accident’

Marília Mendonça knew how to reach us, touch the wound. Now, I close my eyes to sleep and it’s like I hear her voice, her songs don’t come out of…

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