When you think about stereotypes like race, looks or gender roles … How does that make you feel? Do you get the feeling you need to fulfill some of these stereotypes? Do you want to, or like to cater to them? Are you maybe using them to your own advantage, to play with them or to provoke?
So a few weeks ago I went to see the girls of RuPaul’s Drag Race at their show at Werq The World where former contestants delivered a spectacular performance lip syncing for their lives. Regardless of what you think of Drag Queens, here are some things that should be considered:
1. It is an art form
It is one of a kind. Dressing up is easy if you go to a carnival in Germany or just to your average party at a friend’s place. But the steps these guys have to go through… wow. So much hair, make up, hip pads, different costumes every time… It is an art form.
2. It is not only for (gay) men
DRAG actually means ‘DRessed As Girl’. So, one might think that you can only dress up as a girl when you are male. Given the previous topics we talked about with all these gender roles let me tell you this: EVERYONE can do drag. DRAG KINGS are people that dress up just like a drag queen but with the intention on looking (more) like a man or mostly a male figure – or more precisely, to look masculine. Which isn’t the same, and can be defined through the person interpreting it. BIO QUEENS for example are women that perform the art of drag. If you get the chance check out Instagram: @theryanstecken and @theonlytittyana so see my friends who are wonderful examples for a drag king and a bio queen.
3. Drag should be treated with respect
The major work drag queens do, is messing with our heads. Every time I see a performer dressed up and slaying the stage, I feel amazed. It’s so overwhelming how all these impressions force themselves into your brain, mixing up all the expectations you have about gender norms. The understanding of what is male or female, how we define butch or fem… What is male? What is female? Which attributes go with the different genders… Are we moving on a scale between these two genders? Is there more than male or female? Do I have to set a chose one or the other for myself?
All that is erupting inside me during a show when a lady that is a man has a beard, does splits and looks more fragile and precious than a flower. Respect is the least I can show them…. So, when they perform for us; Put your hands together and clap! 😉
I guess what I am trying to say is: Whatever form of art you see, please keep an open mind. Be amazed and let yourself fall into this strange and exciting world. You might want to get lost in it.
Take a look at some pictures from the event below.