Thursday, May 7, 2009
RuPaul's Drag Race ~ Start Your Engines!
Although the season may be over, Rupaul and the eight up-and-coming drag queens will forever stay with me. When the show first aired, I was nervous. I didn't know what people's reaction would be to a group of men dressing as women. The show not only featured the final looks, but the men's process of getting there (hair, makeup, clothing, the works!). I didn't know if the country was ready for it.
Here is a quick summary of the show. Eight contestants competed to be Drag's next big superstar. Under the guidance of the legendary Ru, the contestants competed in challenges geared around their drag persona. Some of the challenges were "Drag on a Dime" where they had to make an entire outfit out of stuff found at the dollar store and "Drag Ball" where they had to create three different outfits inspired by a specific fruit.
I first saw the show on VH1. But is also featured on Logo, an LGBT television station that is a part of MTV. (FYI, the entire season is online for you to watch free!) The contestants entered the show as their drag persona, competed in the first challenge, and went back to the changing room to wash off all the makeup. That was interesting to me, because it is not common to see queens off of the stage. In fact, at the start of the show was the first I had ever seen Rupaul without the dresses and wigs. Although they showed the men in both lights, they never mentioned the birth names. One contestant on the show said that generally, they always call each other by their drag names.
Another reason why this show is very valuable to the community because it bust a major myth about drag queens. BeBe Zahara Benet said it best herself, "Just because I dress in women's clothing doesn't make me any less of a man." I think this show is great at showing that drag is entertainment. It doesn't mean that these men want to be women.
The video above was the intro to the "Never Before Seen Clips" episode. I think this was a good representation of not only the show, but Ru starts the show with a look at some of the past and notable drag queens because, "don't forget, it was a drag queen that threw the first brick at the Stonewall riots that started the gay liberation movement."
Now, sashay away!