So I have a love/hate relationship with RuPaul’s Drag Race… I love all things Drag but after watching the first episode of the All Star edition it reminded me of all the things about the show I dislike… I know it is TV but I find myself asking myself, REALLY???
If I personally hadn’t dabbled in drag for about six months I wouldn’t have the insight that I do about many things. In that short time I learned A LOT about the Drag community. Honestly the show is very much real life. You have the heathers (the ones who think they are better than everyone else)… You have the clowns (the comedy/camp queens), the ones that everyone makes fun… You have the beauty queens (the pageant queens). The misfits (Sharon Needles, Tammie Brown, etc). I mean it all just like High School, even with teachers who also do their own bullying… SANTINO!!!
This week episode confirms quite a few things about the show and the queens in it… It reminded me how as adults we bully each other just as much as kids bully other kids, if not more… Where do you think they learn it from? Their family, friends, media, etc… I know that drag has a level of reading, but there is a line.
I think many of the queens miss out on the real prize and it isn’t the $100,000 grand prize or the fame. It is the experience they have and what they learn from it. RuPaul is notorious for saying “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” This goes both ways and it isn’t just for romantic love. An ego can be confused for love as well.
During the Untucked episode (which is all the behind the scene footage) most of the drags (over 10) bullied one of the drag queens, some very viciously. I know it is tv, and it makes for good television but what message are you sending the world? For me, it takes away not only the illusion but the art of drag itself.
What I see is a bunch of broken individuals who feel the only way they can get the spotlight is by extinguishing someone else’s light. I found this own during my own time as Puddin Pie. Some drag queens were so desperate to get into the spotlight they didn’t care whoever they walked all over. All they wanted was the fame and attention.
Another problem I have had with RPDR in general is this idea of what real drag is. Anyone who has watched the show can see it is obvious what they feel is acceptable and normal. I am honestly shocked ( well maybe not really) that Sharon Needles won… but again she wasn’t a comedy/camp queen either. That is the genre of drag that I feel they really stick their noses down at. Just look at any critiques, especially from Santino… I am sorry but the whole stick with a comedy queen is not high fashion, that is not who they are… Again Santino was knocking Pandora Boxx down for her clothing. People go to see these queens not for what they where, they go for their personalities and what they present on stage. Honestly I think people are intimidated by comedy queens because it takes a lot of nerve and talent to do what they do. They don’t just rely on pretty, and honestly with makeup… ANYBODY CAN BE PRETTY!!!
Not everyone can be funny.
Even how they gave Pandora and Mimi their group name “Mandora” set them up…
The other thing I have found interesting about RPDR is that they judge a lot of the show on superficial things. The only time you see them perform is when they lip sync for their lives. Rarely do you get to see them perform live. Isn’t stage presence an important part of being a drag queen? But this isn’t really what my blog post is about…
Sure RuPaul is probably one of the most famous drag queens but she is about the only one of her genre of drag who was famous, other than comedy queens prior to RPDR. What do Varla, Lady Bunny, Jackie Beat, Lily Savage, Coco, Dame Edna, and Divine all have in common? Comedy… They became famous for their acts not for being on some reality competition.
Watching that show last night made me angry, I am still fuming!!!
Even during Mimi’s lip sync versus Chad Michaels, Chad didn’t even compare. Mimi out performed Chad hands down, she even changed outfits during the number. She gave personality that I didn’t see with Chad. Yet her and Pandora was the one sent home. I mean did I miss something? I believe it boils down to styles of drag, and it is obvious they don’t like Pandora or Mimi’s style. The biggest question why have them on there??? Like RuPaul says she has the ultimate say… I have to wonder how big of an ego RuPaul has… That is another topic for another day…
Even the queens I had come to love like Latrice, JuJu, Pandora, etc I was disgusted with. Sure some weren’t as vocal in the bullying but they certainly didn’t stand up. All they appeared to me to be were a bunch of children preying on the weakest link. Not to mention Pandora’s attitude being paired with Mimi…
I left the show not caring to ever watch it again. I have also unliked all these so called queens facebook pages.
I find it ironic that what they were berating Mimi for, was the exact same thing they were doing. I also love this whole we are sisters crap, yeah maybe wicked step sisters like Cinderella had. You can’t pick and chose the parts of family you believe in. Let’s be clear most of them see it as a competition and will do WHATEVER it takes to win. Even if it means making someone cry.
Which reminds me of the season of the HEATHERS. Which embodies this whole nose turning down thing. How low do you have to feel to be like this? Anyone who is in drag knows of the term booger queen. What makes anyone the ultimate queen of what is and isn’t acceptable drag??? Plus everyone starts somewhere. If you look at a lot of these polished queens they weren’t always like that. Rather than constantly beat others down, why don’t we try to build them up???
I guess watching RPDR really turns me off towards drag, and that is a shame. I know I am not alone. I almost think there RuPaul is her own genre… She/he doesn’t speak for everyone, nor is he the end all of Drag… I just think with all the bullying going on and the teenagers killing themselves over it we have a responsibility as the gay peers of the community. Whether they want it or not, they are in the limelight and they could do so much good for the world, yet they choose not to. They are totally missing the mark…
Even drag queens like Latrice Royale who spent time in prison didn’t treat Mimi with the same kind of compassion. I wonder how that is? If anyone should know what it is like to overcome a bad choice it should be him!!! People make mistakes, it is apart of life. Sure Mimi picking up her competitor during their lip sync for their life was wrong but she got kicked off for it. A lot of the queens were like Mimi shouldn’t be here… yada, yada, yada…. What is it to them? They are their and if they believe that she isn’t on their level, it just means one less spot to the 100k! The only reason they point it out, is for face. Just to cause drama.
Then I think of the concept of the All Stars being paired with another queen for the rest of the show, and both being kicked off. If they were in pursuit of the best All Star they would never do this. For one, each queen has their different style and two if one queen doesn’t perform to par the other goes down with the ship. Lets be real, you knew that none of those queens would have picked Mimi or Pandora… Okay!!!! So they might as well set them up… If RuPaul was all about lifting people up, why would he set them up to fail??? There are flaws there… cracks in her makeup if you might say…
Even queens like JuJu who wasn’t the most fashion forward or popular to the judges the first time around, now all of a sudden was best friends with Raven? Raven isn’t known for her niceness. It reminds me of in high school when those who team up with the bullies in order to not get bullied themselves.
With all the bullying and teen suicides happening don’t we as a community have a responsibility to them? Kids learn what they see and not just from their family. RuPaul and her show has put a famous face to the gay community. I guess this whole philosophy that Ru has doesn’t fit into line with the concept of the show because a lot of what goes on has nothing to do with love. It is about tearing down someone else.
I am angry, FUCKING angry. I think partially because it reminds me of my own experience and how others in the past have made me feel for being different. So now when I see injustices I just want to SCREAM!!! I want to say wake the fuck up people.
I think what if a gay youth happens to see the show? What will they think??? I don’t think they will feel good about their own personal experiences.
If they really want to be true superstars not only do they have to have talent and charisma but they have to have heart. Honestly I don’t see much of that on RPDR. Just a bunch of mimi-rupaul wannabes… and those feeling left out because they don’t fit into that mold…
That is when you step out of that mold and realize that you will never fit into their realities because not only is it built for them but often times it is skewed.
And during that whole incident with Mimi, not one person stood up and said enough is enough… Not one person!!! Which reminds me of what happens when a kid is bullied, that happens all the time. All it takes is one person to step up, just one… Kids have an excuse, they are young and impressionable. Adults on the other hand, DO NOT!!!
I will not be watching another episode of All Stars and I am considering not watching the new season of the regular edition. It has become to difficult to stomach. So I will take a stand and say enough is enough. The only shade I find comforting is under a big old tree during a hot sunny day.
A star is a light that is meant to shine brightly. It is meant to bring light to the world, not burn those they encounter…