Drag Race is taking over
Rupaul and his clique of queens are the new mainstream
If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?” If these words don’t ignite some sort of passion within you, chances are you have yet to be initiated into the Rupaul’s Drag Race fan club.
The reality gameshow – which streams on Stan in Australia and sees drag queens compete for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar – is a phenomenon. Having picked up 10 Emmy nominations over its nine years, Drag Race’s 10th season is its most-watched yet, while host Rupaul Charles recently became the first drag queen to be awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In order to snatch the crown, contestants need to display Rupaul’s desired qualities of “Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent” – and the acronym those words spell out should give you a sense of the show’s sass.
But let’s backtrack. “What is a Rupaul?” we hear some of you cry. A singer, actor, TV personality and supermodel of the world, dahhling, Rupaul has worked as a drag queen for decades, paving the way for generations after him to be accepted and adored.
Naomi Campbell summed up the ineffable attraction of Ru when he was chosen as one of TIME’S 100 Most Influential People of 2017, saying, “I first met Ru in the e ’90s ’90swhen when I was doing a shoot t on 14th Streettreet Street in New York City. ty. As soon as I saw him I wanted d to know where wherew he was going because ecause that was wasw where I wanted ted to be.”
Herstoryryy in the making king
While other TV channels in the he US are struggling, gling, Drag Race is s doing wonders for its little-known network VH1. Executive ive producer Tom m Campbell Campbel ll says that the decision to o move “the gayest ayest show on television” ” to VH1 was wasw “not only brave ave but, based bas sed on our record-breaking d-breaking ratings, it was as genius”.
And the show how is a work wor rk of genius, simply ly because, at its heart, it’s about out acceptance, acceptan nce,
lovelandds ti ck ingikitwofi fingers up to the status statu quo. “Drag has always served se a purpose. We mock identity, iden we’re shapeshifters,” shapeshifters Rupaul, 57, affirms. “At its it core, it’s a social statement statem and a big ‘F**k you!’ to maledominated culture.” cu
Throw in hilarious h challenges, jawja dropping outfits outfi and endless sass, s and you’ve got go
yourself a hit. hi
They came to slay
From humble hu beginnings as a cont controversial show with a cult c fandom, Drag Race R has gone on to become a social media sensation and an int integral part of pop culture. Think T you’ve managed managedd to escape its reaches? Nuh-uh, hunty. Season Six runner-up – and former Australian Idol star – Courtney Act won this year’s UK Celebrity Big Brother and joined Drag Race alums Willam and Alaska in the video clip for Little Mix’s Power. Season Six winner Bianca Del Rio just released her new movie, the “shequel” Hurricane Bianca: From Russia With Hate, while Miley Cyrus – who was in the audience at Season Eight’s finale – performed with past queens at the 2015 MTV VMAS. Current Season 10 queen Aquaria believes drag going mainstream is a good thing. “It’s allowed tons of talented performers to be recognised for their work on a much larger scale. People are becoming more comfortable with the concept of drag, and what gender means [or doesn’t mean] in today’s society. If seeing me on television makes you feel brave enough to live your life contrary to how society thinks you should, then I have done my job. And you have the mainstreaming of drag to thank for allowing me to do that.”
So while some might rather keep drag a club for the “cool kids”, seeing a subculture influence pop culture is positive progress, reports Heat mag. Plus, who doesn’t love to gaze upon the wonders of glamazonian queens?
Adding a ton of glitter to the world can only make it brighter. And if Drag Race is taking over the world, then we’re sure as hell gonna let it. After all, as Mamma Ru says, ”We’re all born naked, and the rest is drag.” n
Drag Race fan faves Bendelacreme, Aquaria (centre) and Shangela are all touring Oz later this year
Thanks to the success of Drag Race, Rupaul won’t be sashaying away from the spotlight anytime soon! After making it to the top three in her season of Drag Race, our very own Courtney Act won UK Celebrity Big Brother earlier this year Miley performed at...