As someone whose reality TV indulgences were limited to the semi-respectable “Project Runway,” the look on my face when my friend said I had—HAD—to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race is probably pretty similar to yours right now if you have not yet seen this golden beacon of television entertainment:
After reluctantly watching one episode, I binge-watched an entire season in a week. I couldn’t get enough and so many secrets of the universe had been revealed: Why the queens do drag (hint: generally not because they want to be a woman). The miracles of tucking. An entirely new vocabulary, such as the snarky remarks called “shade” that speak to my cold, bitchy heart. Though my favorite part of the show, RPDR is so much more than superficial catty queens: It’s about transformations, the trials of the gay community, acceptance, confidence, turning it out, and being fucking fabulous, darling.
I honestly think that RuPaul’s Drag Race should be mandatory watching for anyone trying to improve their self-esteem. Here is a group of people who have been marginalized (gay men) who are flying even further in the face of society’s standards (gay men who dress as women) who walk the runway every week to show off how fabulous they are, not giving a single fuck. All styles of drag are represented: big girls, short girls, Puerto Ricans, camp queens, pageant girls, bitchy queens, sweethearts, and Sharon Needles (see below). Mama Ru dispenses gentle criticism and sage advice while searching for the next drag queen with enough charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent to be crowned as the next superstar. And man do these queens have talent. They are professional entertainers that can glue gun a dress out of trash, invent features with makeup and padding, werk that runway, and lip-sync for their lives. RPDR breaks stereotypes to show that drag is an art, a family, and a triumph.
Season 6 of RPDR doesn’t begin airing until February, but the contestant introductions were released last week and it’s looking to be the best season yet (American Idol fans may recognize Danny Noriega in his drag persona, Adore Delano, though my top picks are Bianca Del Rio and Courtney Act). I highly recommend watching the previous seasons to prepare yourself. Here are some previews, in GIF form, as to what you have in store during an episode of RPDR:
Awesome guest judges like Vanessa Williams, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Michelle Williams, and Pamela Anderson.
Queens of all persuasions:
Body you won’t believe:
And of course, the perfection that is RuPaul:
What’s your take on RuPaul’s Drag Race? Anyone else on #TeamBianca already? Tweet your thoughts @litdarling