HOME POP CULTURE 5 RuPaul’s Drag Race Life Lessons
RuPaul’s Drag Race Life Lessons - Photo by Emma Tsui on Unsplash

5 RuPaul’s Drag Race Life Lessons

by Elyse V

Aside from being wildly entertaining, RuPaul’s Drag Race is so much more. It’s empowering on a level that you may not have even known you needed. I’m not blowing smoke here either. RuPaul’s Drag Race life lessons are no joke. You’d be hard-pressed to find another TV show that encourages self-love, acceptance, individuality, hard-work, and the power of family (and I don’t mean the blood variety) more than RuPaul’s Drag Race. The challenging of antiquated/traditional/small minded ideologies of gender norms is almost secondary.

RuPaul is pure love. RuPaul is also that bitch. The bitch that battles their way through life leaving a path of glitter, so it is easier for others to follow. But you don’t have to be a drag queen to benefit from following that path. It’s a path to accepting and loving your authentic-self, however your soul feels most defined. And a path to being the most confident version of yourself. We can all benefit from a little more of that (along with a good Snatch Game performance of course).

5 RuPaul’s Drag Race Life Lessons

  1. Learn to love yourself. The “as is” version – not some perfect image of yourself that you may have in your head. Don’t get me wrong – you can work on yourself, but love and celebrate yourself every step of the way (and even if you don’t get around to doing the work). RuPaul’s Drag Race queens come in all shapes and sizes. It’s all about body positivity and representation. You don’t have to be a certain height or dress size to succeed in Drag Race or in life. You can be fierce and confident without conforming to some ridiculous concept of beauty, so put your shoes on and strut the f*uck out of them.  The world is your runway.
  2. It gets better. If you have ever been bullied, felt like an outsider, wondered what was wrong with you for not being/loving/wanting who and what you have been conditioned to be/love/want. It gets better. Learning the backstory of the queens on RuPaul’s Drag Race is both heartbreaking and empowering. Although they are all different, the one thing they have in common is that they were not easy. They struggled and questioned everything, but they persevered through the pain of abuse, addictions, disorders, hatred, alienation, and countless other examples of soul crushing experiences. Throughout it all, they knew they deserved better and they fought for it. They became their own superhero.
  3. Don’t let your inner saboteur win. It will try. Again, and again. Don’t let fear or your limited perception of what you can do, hold you back. Nothing worthwhile is easy and there is always going to be setbacks and stumbles, but don’t let them get in your head and define you. And don’t let things that happened in the past – or people who treated you poorly – influence you or the decisions you make in the present or future. Quiet all those negative inner voices. Don’t look at others and only see all that you are not and don’t have. Look to others for inspiration if you need it, but then make it your own and get to work.
  4. Speaking of work, You Better Work! As we previously mentioned, nothing worthwhile is ever easy and drag is no different. Drag is A LOT of work regardless if you are a pageant queen, comedy queen, fashion queen, look queen, or artistic queen. It’s all work, so you gotta love it to do it. I mean, the tucking alone would scare the crap out of most. There is no half-ass’ing it. You’ll be clocked pretty quick. You have to be in 100% and give your all. Learn all you can that will make you better and improve your chance of success. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will be, but never get so confident that you rest on your laurels. You have to keep working at being your best so you can bring it every day.
  5. Find your tribe. The word family can take on a number of definitions for different people. For some, it is the people who share their bloodline, but we are not all born into our families. Some people find their family as they make their way through life. They find people who share their passions. If you watch Drag Race, you quickly learn the meaning and importance of a drag family – drag mothers, drag sisters – and the love and support they have for each other. Families should want the best for each other, be there unconditionally, and have your back when you need it. Check, check and check. For anyone who has lived through being rejected by their family due to some form of learned, small-minded hate, take comfort knowing your tribe is out there. As a new season of Drag Race progresses, you see the genuine friendships that are formed. Even though they are competing, they don’t want to see their sister fail. They regularly help each other even though it doesn’t serve themselves to do so. Make no mistake though, when the library is open, they will read each other for filth because as we all know, READING IS FUNDAMENTAL! If you don’t know what that means, you may need to brush up on your Drag Terminology and/or the incredibly, insightful, witty phrases of some drag queens. I’m fairly fluent in Drag, so if you need any translating, let me know.

RuPaul is a guru, a hero, and a pioneer who we can all learn from. RuPaul’s Drag Race should be recommended viewing for everyone. Seriously. Forget Dora the Explorer. Kids would benefit far more from RuPaul’s Drag Race life lessons than anything in Dora’s backpack.

What have you learned from watching RuPaul’s Drag Race? Let me know in the comments.

Now, if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an Amen up in here?

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