Major props for Ru in this month’s Ebony. Here’s a quick excerpt from the article entitled “The King of Queens: Why RuPaul Matters”: “RuPaul has said, ‘every time I bat my false eyelashes, it’s a political statement.’ Drag as an entertainment form has always been a defiant act. According to RuPaul, being a drag performer is challenging, ‘Because our culture hates femininity’ and the female image is only valued when it ‘support[s] patriarchal power.’ Drag, on the other hand, takes our culture’s ideal of femininity head on by hijacking it, exaggerating it, and creating something entirely new. In an age of smaller waistlines and airbrushed faces, the sight of a six-foot, seven-inch Black man atop stilettos may represent the strongest countervailing force to traditional notions of femininity and beauty on television.
“Having the legendary performer as the central force of the show elevates these ideas further. In the entertainment industry, Black men and women are often relegated to roles that perpetuate stereotypes, but RuPaul doesn’t fit into such boxes. He came to fame at the height of gangster rap and still managed to become a regular fixture on MTV. The RuPaul persona transcended the trope of a Black man in a dress – where Black men are emasculated and Black women are mocked – by creating a strong character who is in charge of the narrative, not its victim. Through his performance, he is not the butt of a joke, but instead celebrates gay culture and embraces Black womanhood when so many entertainment mediums fall short on both counts.
“While networks are beginning to show more diversity and even incorporate lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters, RuPaul’s Drag Race brings more reality to television than most reality shows, and challenges traditional representations of race, gender, and sexual orientation in entertainment. To all the shows out there failing to measure up: you better work!”
Read the whole article here.