On the night of the first day of classes of this semester, season 3 of the Drag Race spin-off series, “All Stars,” was premiering. I decide to watch with my friends because drag is right up my alley. I was obsessed within minutes, choosing my favorite (Bendelacreme) to be the winner.
As a friend unit, we watched intently every week, excited when drama queens went home (“I was in character the entire time!”) and sad when our fave made the unprecedented decision to send herself home. On a snow day, we watched the reruns of All Stars 2, falling in love with big personalities like Alaska and Katya.
We talked and gushed about Mama Ru and the gang all the time. It even infiltrated my academic life when I wrote this Moodle post:
Though many focus on the feminist’s perspective of Barbie and her flamboyant femininity, the “gay camp culture” has certainly taken her in. Urla and Swedlund write that, “Barbie’s excessive femininity also makes her a favorite persona of female impersonators, alongside Judy, Marilyn, Marlene, and Zsa Zsa” (302). Though this article mentions “queer spins” on Barbie, it seems that they aren’t using it in the queer-friendly way we see it used today. The drag community had a model of beauty and femininity in Barbie, but even the act of drag is somewhat ironic. Queens are representing Barbie, but they aren’t trying to become her.
Later, Urla and Swedlund discuss Barbie’s influence on RuPaul’s song, “Supermodel.” They again use the adjective “campy” to describe the song and its music video. Barbie can be seen as less of a standard of beauty to aspire to and more of a funny character making a guest appearance.
Recently, Trixie Mattel won RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3. Mattel gets her name from Barbie’s parent company and models her makeup after the severely feminine look of Barbie herself. Though she has pronounced eyes and rosy cheeks, it is well-known that this is simply a character Mattel is playing. She untucks and takes off her makeup at the end of a performance because isn’t femininity performative anyway?
This warranted an email from my professor in which he admitted to also loving the show and the connection I made.
Only one week after All Stars 3 ended with Shangela not winning, we dove straight into Season X. 10s across the board, if you will.
My obsession already being well-solidified, I watched the first episode quickly memorizing the names of all the queens and choosing my favorites.
Although every single one of them was beautiful and entertaining, these are my top-picks for this season. (I’m noticing a correlation between how well the queens do competitively and how much I like them. Hopefully, only a coincidence.
Blair St. Clair
A Broadway baby! As an ex-lover of all things musical theatre, I saw someone familiar in Ms. St. Clair. Her looks are so put together, and she slayed the first challenge. I’m looking forward to more from her, especially performances!
The cutest! She had by far the most creative look in the challenge, and she has the story to go with it. Auditioned ten times and got it on the tenth try? #relatable, am I right? She has a great personality and it shows in her looks.
All of the judges describe her as weird, and I must agree. The awkward body movements, the performative makeup and expressions, I’m digging it all! (Plus, I’m totally on her side of the whole Aquaria drama.)
I have LOVED all of the positive Instagram comments this week about how a muscular drag queen is giving women the encouragement to get SWOLE. As someone with an athletic body, I fully understand the disappointment of not having thicker, more muscular body types shown in the media Unless, of course, the Olympics are going on; that’s the only time we care about muscles on women.
Vanessa Vanjie Mateo
Every time she opened her mouth, personality came rushing down like a waterfall. I didn’t even have to understand what or why she said things to find them amazing. Though I haven’t seen (and won’t get to see) much of her, I can tell she’s a great entertainer.
I am SO READY for the rest of season 10!