RuPaul. What a drag!
Getting old, I tend not to like surprises anymore. But if someone asks, let them buy me a crazy present. 😉 This post is not about that. This post is about discovering the world of drag queens and being so fascinated by it. It’s all thanks to the Netflix show, RuPaul’s Drag Race.
You might think you know what a drag queen is.
I thought so too. Some dude who puts on tons of makeup pretends to be a diva and lipsync. Oh, and there was also that cozy atmosphere from behind the scenes with mirror lights, wiggs, and jokes that would make anyone blush. At least that is what I saw in A Star Is Born.
Well, it’s not just that. A real drag queen is a f*cking work of art.
And I am saying that even though I know she is a person. But still. She is a walking talking work of art. Why?
First of all, drags have a specific way of talking.
Certain rules apply. Even though they are men, they are all ‘she’. Then, they are all sisters, mammas, mammacitas, bitches, hoes, sheroes, loves, darlings, see where I’m going with this? Even though they spend a lot of time bitching about stuff, it’s all underpinned by a beautiful sisterhood, something that I, as a woman, have never really been part of. It’s almost like they elevate womanhood.
Mad makeup skills.
Ok, that isn’t probably a rule, but drag queens in this show are above anything I would ever be able to do. Hell, above everything pretty much any normal woman is able to do. Not only that looks are very elaborated, hair, makeup, and clothes, but they somehow manage to change their facial features to be unrecognizable.
I think it takes a whole lot of an artist to even conceptualize the looks presented in RuPaul’s Drag Race. It mostly involves heels and lots of padding. Once that is done, hold on to your hats, drags need to be able to walk in them, dance in them, perform in them. And there is death drop after death drop, pirouettes and all sorts of acrobatics, all of them of course, wearing break-your-neck-if-you-fall heels.
This was actually my third point about drags. Performance.
You might think that it’s all about lip-syncing and salaciously walking about. It’s not. A drag queen is a character. And like every character, it’s inspired by some diva but is finessed by the person’s touch. It’s amazing how personal peculiarities manage to shine through centimeters-thick makeup and huge amounts of hairspray. Really talented drags can do that.
Last, but not least. A drag queen is funny.
Humour is maybe one of the most important bits. I would have never guessed that watching drag shows is highly entertaining. They manage to strike a very fine balance between funny, spontaneous, outrageous and original.
It amazes me how terribly complex and challenging being a drag really is.
They are true performers. Think about it: getting all dressed up takes hours, the costume is, more often than not, incredibly uncomfortable, once you are on the stage you have to be in character but also quite flexible to adapt to whatever the audience has to offer. All of this with a huge smile on your face.
And I am not even talking about the social stigma they face when they come out. For some people, it’s inconceivable to have to deal with a gay person (most drags are gay men but it’s no rule), but faced with the exaggerated features portrayed by a drag queen … oh, mama! All I can say is I hope their job is rewarding enough.
One last thing, no matter what the world thinks, they won me over. Great job, girls, you are amazing!