Two tall people are stood on a stage, cinched into a corset, feet stuffed into 7-inch platform heels, and lights upon them so hot their lashes are melting off. They are surrounded by other individuals in a similar situation, with intimidating eyes glaring upon them as they prepare to ‘Lip synch for their lives’. No, this isn’t another confused Blackpool hen do: this is one of the hottest cult TV shows to hit our screens since Rocky Horror himself. RuPaul’s Drag Race, described as the ‘Olympics of drag’, was created and presented by ultimate drag icon RuPaul and features all your favourite parts of America’s Next Top Model but 100% more campy, bitchy and sassy.
Fans of makeup and contouring look to this show for a master class for getting those defined cheekbones and creating a feminine illusion for even the most masculine of faces. Watching the transformation of an everyday guy into a glamazonian princess is so satisfying, so astounding. How they wear 6 pairs of lashes every, single time I’ll never know.
With it being a reality show, it has a lot of drama. The kind of arguments that you can’t help but love-to-watch. Combined with vivacious drag slang and a feisty sense of humour, it leaves for some seriously ugly cackling. My favourite catchphrase to come from the show has to be from season 4 sass queen Latrice Royale: ‘The Five G’s – Good God Girl Get a Grip!’ – a term which can easily be used in everyday university life.
What makes the show so interesting is how it blurs gender lines in our ever changing and more accepting society. Drag isn’t just a man sticking on a wig and heels: it’s highlighting how gender is a performative construct, and we don’t have to stick to what’s slapped on our birth certificate. Drag is about making yourself feel fabulous and not giving a damn what anybody else thinks. Why should makeup be restricted to only the female gender anyway?! More people – men and women – are turning to drag as a form of expression and artistry, and is a new outlet that anyone can uncover.
Most importantly, drag is about making yourself feel fabulous and not giving a damn what anybody else thinks. So, RuPaul, Supermodel of the World, for making ‘herstory’ and dragging this wonderful culture into the mainstream and into our lives.