This week’s RuPaul’s Drag Race had one of the most peculiar challenges of all time!
The remaining 13 queens presented fully-developed princess characters on the runway, but each one had to be accompanied by a dweeby floating-head sidekick which later had an animated body added to it.
Maybe some fans weren’t into this Roger Rabbit, Space Jam sort of realness, but I loved the juxtaposition – plus, I adore any challenge where the queens have to get literary.
This week on Untucked, the safe queens opined that most of them belonged in the top group, and I can’t help but agree. I think all of them were better than the queens that remained on the stage (yes, even Trinity).
Despite loving drag even as a child that I’ve only been in what I’d call “full drag” – with makeup and everything – twice in my life. One of those times was for Halloween, the other was on stage. Both were now half a life ago during my willowy, longhaired youth when I would easily pass for a woman just walking down the street.
Thinking and looking back at those occasions, getting dressed up specifically to read as “woman” and not “man in dress” was still a challenge. Even with an easy-to-dress figure, soft features, and no issue with affecting a feminine walk, there were still a hundred details to presenting myself as womanly I had to figure out. Not just padding, make-up, and jewelry, but how to stand with my legs held demurely or how to toss my hair.
That’s why for me drag is not only about a heightened reality of womanhood and blurred gender lines, but also a reminder of the exceptional expectations the world places on every woman, every day. Women are held to a ridiculous standard of seamless beauty whenever they leave the house, always treated by some as an object which must always make itself worthy of attention.
And, if they have the temerity to appear in front of a camera? I believe the term for the world’s expectation is “picture perfect.”
Is there some hypocrisy to me – a guy who hasn’t been in a dress for many years – ranking queens who do this professionally multiple nights a week on their picture perfectness? Absolutely! At the same time, there’s a reason why I watch Drag Race and not a single other reality TV show, and that’s to see people at the height of their craft showing off their abilities.
I know that even on my best day I probably couldn’t do drag as good as the last-place contestant in any season of Drag Race. However, I’ve also done a lot of the other things they have to do to win – some professionally – and I think it’s fascinating to dissect their performances.
With that off my chest, let’s begin! [Read more…] about RuPaul’s Drag Race Power Rankings, S09E03 – “Draggily Ever After”