Yes, it is a show about men dressing up as women. And yes, they do look better than many women who were born that way! But the show is more than men pretending, it is about not being afraid to be yourself (I know its ironic, but stay with me). RuPaul himself sends messages of love and acceptance to not only the contestants, but to everyone watching who has ever felt a little different.
The show premiered in 2010 on the little channel LOGO and is hosted by drag icon RuPaul. Seven seasons later, the show has become a global phenomenon with millions of fans producing future drag superstars and even spawning a drag queen convention that premiered this June in Los Angeles. The contestants have earned their own legions of fans and sell out shows worldwide.
Following are the five things that the show has taught me that school never could.
1. There are many categories of drag.
When first starting the show, I thought drag was just a man in a dress, and that's it. But throughout the show, many styles of drag have been displayed. From season three winner fashion Queen Raja, to season six comedy Bianca Del Rio, "Drag Race" has displayed camp to glam to spook. Here is a great article that breaks down the many different styles of drag. There have been many feuds on the show caused by the queens' different styles and some rifts between the older and younger queens have even been displayed on the show!
Below is an arguement between Season four's Phi Phi O'Hara and winner Sharon Needles are arguing about their styles and THE FUTURE OF DRAG. You might not take this show seriously, but the contestants certainly do.
2. Queens are prettier than most woman I know.
Tatiana Season Two
Courtney Act Season Six
Juju Bee Season Two
Pearl Season Seven
Pearl out of drag (just as beautiful)!
3. Never lipsync against a drag queen.
If you have ever gone to a drag show, you will see a queen lip syncing and performing to a song. RuPaul took that concept and makes the bottom two queens from each challenge LIP SYNC FOR THEIR LIVES!!!! Many of the performances have had my jaw to the floor for their fierceness. What woman do you know that can jump into a split in heels?! Below are two of my favorite lip syncs. The first is from season five (between Alyssa Edwards and Roxxxy Andrews), and it is HAIRmazing.
The next is the best lipsync from Season 7. It is between Kennedy Davenport and Katya. Just watch.
4. Reading is fundamental.
Since season two, Ru has introduced a mini challenge in which the contestants have to read each other. Reading and throwing shade are notorious in drag communities, and became famous from the documentary "Paris is Burning," which is available on Netfllix. Watch the contestants read each other for filth.
5. Love Yourself for Who You Truly Are.
The show sends the message of self-love in every episode, and RuPaul makes sure that message sticks by this now legendary phrase. (Sorry for the shoddy video, but you get the point).
"If you can't love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?"