Updated: Aug 26
You could say that I have a bit of an obsession with drag queens. I’ve watched Rupaul’s Drag Race for several years now and can honestly say it has changed my life for the better. Through the show, I’ve found a community that I love and admire! So now I want to pass on my love of drag to anyone who may need it. In this article, I’ll be exploring what drag queens can teach women.
Disclaimer – This isn’t to say that drag queens are trying to teach us to be ‘better’ women or take our place in society. On the contrary, their goal is to entertain but I think there is a lot that drag queens can teach. Drag injects fun and colour in really dreary times and portrays very meaningful messages. As one of my favourite drag queens, Nina West, says, “drag is magic!”.
In my opinion, the art of confidence is definitely top in terms of what drag queens can teach women. Drag queens say what they like, which can be really cutting or just plain honest. They aren’t afraid to say what they want and stand up for things they believe in. I think we all need a bit of that in our everyday lives.
Queens hide what they don’t like about themselves behind a heavy mask of makeup and flamboyant costumes. Think of how you feel when you dress up for an event. You feel good and think you can conquer the world right? If you applied a little bit of that self-care to your everyday life, you may feel more confident. I’m not telling you to do a full-face of makeup every day (you do you!), but if you feel better with a swish of eyeliner, go for it!
Being unapologetic ally you
Too often we see people suppress who they really want to be so they can ‘conform to society’. Well, I say no more and so does drag! Have you ever wanted to buy an item of clothing that you felt suited your personality perfectly but were too scared to go for it? Society will always have an opinion on what we should and shouldn’t be so why not just be yourself?
I would definitely recommend having a look at Drag Syndrome, a group of drag performers with Down syndrome. These drag artists show that everyone can be whoever they want to be, regardless of the box that society tries to put you in.
Some people forget that drag queens and kings are the same as the rest of us; human beings just trying to make it work. They work hard and hustle to get to where they want to be and for people to take their art seriously.
I know some people who think that drag is just about the flamboyant and the outrageous. Lots of drag acts that I’ve seen focus their performances on what’s going on in the world and make it relevant for everyone. There are beauty, campy, androgynous, impersonation, comedy queens… the list goes on! Drag is limitless and encourages people to be who they want to be without judgement.
The obvious one… makeup
If you haven’t seen a drag queen before, you should definitely have a nosey on social media. You may have an image of a highly exaggerated face, and whilst some do this, some (men in female drag) could pass as women! Some to look at are Blair St. Clair and Valentina. The technique and talent of these performers are beyond belief, which can be seen in the way they paint their face. It’s all an illusion but a stunning illusion at that.
So, how can you apply a bit of the magic of drag to your everyday life?
Maybe you want to experiment with your makeup but never had the guts to do it. Not all risks pay off but you never know if you never try. Some of the most extreme looking drag queens only found their looks by trying different styles, and of course, style evolves over time too.
Maybe you want to become more confident in yourself. When Beyonce used to go on stage, she became her more confident alter ego, Sasha Fierce. You may not have to totally become another person, but if you create an image of the person you want to be in your head, you can try to embody them when you don’t feel so confident in yourself.
What I’ve learnt from drag is that I should put myself out there more, grab opportunities and just chill out sometimes. Life is stressful and we all need to cut ourselves some slack.
I don’t expect you to read this article and become a drag queen or king (if you do, let me know though!). But if you take anything away from this then let it be that everyone can learn a thing or two from a drag queen. I hope this opened your eyes to the wacky and wonderful world of drag. There is so much that drag queens can teach us!