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After airing for years now, RuPaul’s Drag Race has become a platform for Emmy-winning host RuPaul and queens from all over the country to air the diverse cultures. This show gives queens an opportunity to show case their art on challenges on a runway show. The show not only helps queens with boosting their careers in the entertainment industry but also gives them the opportunity to share their story on how they got started in drag. Drag Race is a movement for the LGBT community, which shows self-expression is accepted, and advocates for the end of hatred. The entertainers use this platform to tell their story of how they began and elaborated on their journey on how they have overcome obstacles presented by growing up gay. Even though these entertainers are gay men, they have used the art of drag to find themselves. The queens that appeared on the show have left their footmarks and made history for the LGBT community. Overall, RuPaul’s Drag Race succeeds in sending a message that the LGBT has its own form of art. This brings a positive note to viewers because it shows how art can help one boost their character into something beautiful.
By giving queens an opportunity to create different looks to show their character, it sends out the message to others that it is fine to be unique and take pride in whatever you do. One of the characters, Sasha Velour, is artistic with a heavy built persona. RuPaul’s Drag Race captured her most outrageous looks that she would strut on the runway and all challenge, because of what she brought on the show, viewers can see that art is a form of self-expression. Sasha had never once lip-synced on the show until the finale. By using establishment shots to capture Sasha’s movement through the art of ballet to taking her wig of was truly memorable for the audience to watch. It was a performance that made history in the LGBT community and queer culture and put a smile on the audience that had a watch. What made it even more memorable is that she dedicated it to her mom that passed away from cancer. Overall, Sasha’s final performance on drag race and looks can send a positive note that art helps one tell their story. Viewers can see where that person came from, and what they want to do to inspire others through creativity.
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RuPaul is a powerful figure to all queens on the show, with her motherly love and mentoring; she can show viewers how art can unite anyone. Because of her love of drag, Rupaul would always critic the queens on what they did good on their outfits and performance, and what they still need to work on. Regardless of the critiques from RuPaul, queens would use that to help each other grow strong, and form a sisterly bond. Viewers can get an idea as to
Because of RuPaul’s love of drag, every season you would see queens talking to each other as if they were sisters. Even through rough days, where one queen felt like giving up, her sisters were there to comfort her. Every season there was always a queen that had a bad attitude, and another queen that would always try to be the team leader. Regardless of attitude, sexuality, and character, all queens were accepting towards each other. During season 9, there was a queen that presented herself as not only an artistic legend but an inspiration for the transgender community. Peppermint, a drag queen, had come out as transsexual on drag race. She had told all her sisters that this was a big secret she was hiding, and it took a lot for her to say it in front of national television. All season 9 queens came together crying and telling peppermint that she is loved. During a close of everyone coming together to hug peppermint, RuPaul came in and told peppermint of how proud she was of doing that. Out of all seasons, this moment for a queen like a peppermint was truly iconic in the LGBT community. Because of peppermints love for drag, and her involvement in the LGBT movement, other queens on the show can relate.
Art on Culture
The minority groups are often marginalized and discriminated due to their cultural diversity. However, the Drag Race show offers a platform for LGBT society to feel worth and appreciated because the show aims at giving these people a feeling that they belong and they are part of larger society. Sasha Velour who won season nine of RuPaul’s Drag Race argued during an interview that she takes drag very seriously because it offers a political and historical art form (Weiss). Art is strongly influential on culture, and it can be used to ensure that people embrace the diversity in cultural norms, practices, and beliefs.
The Drag Race is a platform of art that means to entertain and show the essence of cultural richness. It tries to show the essence of embracing different people without judging them on cultural lines. Gays are treated as minorities, and there are numerous arguments against the acceptance of this group. This may negatively affect these people stealing their confidence and making them feel worthless. However, RuPaul’s Drag Race is aimed at giving them a higher regard regardless of their cultural diversities. Drag is a joyful and accessible form of art and thus ensured that it made the people feel important. Sasha Velour argued that she used this platform for creatingbeautiful images meant to inspire queer people (Weiss). She also used this platform to show these people beauty and help them experience joy while politically engaging them. Art can be used to boost the mood and character into something astounding, and the participants in drag managed to give people a chance to understand the beauty that they may constantly miss out on and the need to find their own beauty.
The LGBTQ community is not often represented in the media and also in the law and thus drag tries to ensure that they give these people a place. There are numerous drag queens who try to fight for the rights of these populations by airing banners and posters in the street, but they still fail to capture a wider audience or the right readership. Drag is focused on helping these people speak up, and it is mostly about gay men who dress up as females and create a space and validity for individuals who want to express gender differently with their own distinct rules. The show shows that these people have a diverse culture, but that does not insinuate that they do not belong. They are essential, and thus they are granted the opportunity to be in the front line while pushing for their rights and protections. Art is the best method to alter the ideologies presented about these people since it can be used to paint the world under a different light.
This TV show presents both a comic and enlightening perspective about cultural diversities. The participants are pressed by the unwavering need to stay at the show and leave a mark, and thus they ensure that they continually act in a way that goes in accordance with the object of the show (Carey-Mahoney). Art presents a platform to look at the critical things in a society and offers ways on how to resolve constant problems that people encounter. The use of this TV show presents the audience with something fun and hysterical, and yet it offers the gay community a chance to come out and advocate for their rights. This shows that the essence of the show is to entertain while at the same time it is used to empower. This is achieved simply because the show understands the essence of art and how it can be manipulated to offer diverse impacts.
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Art can be used to critique a culture or to empower one, and it is dependent on the audience and their interpretation of this art. Some people may feel like the show is used to alienate the gays, but it is actually used to show that there is an interesting aspect of their lifestyle and they should not constantly be worried about the views of the people about their cultural diversity. Therefore, the show uses a comic and challenging nature to outline the hardships they encounter and how they can resolve them. This show is meant to boost the character and mood of the people belonging to this group and to show them that they are important in any diverse cultural nation.
Some people feel like drag race is a gay-rights movement which focuses on the forefront of pop culture and gay culture (Carey-Mahoney). However, drag is an art in general that possesses distinct ideologies and representations from those of other forms of art. Drag offers a comic side of the story of a gay man and stresses on the difficult edges of the same person. This art is used to make people relate and understand the differences in cultural values between people who are gay and those which do not belong to the LGBTQ community since the societies view these people differently.
Drag managed to influence mainstream pop culture since it is a diverse TV show which concentrates on entertaining and building character. Art can be used to present the different aspects of life that exist in culture, and it can achieve this by entertaining people through an educative and enlightening platform.
- Carey-Mahoney, Ryan. “The Washington Post.” 24 August 2016. ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ is More than a TV Show. It’s a Movement. 11 November 2017 <http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2016/08/24/rupauls-drag-race-is-more-than-a-tv-show-its-a-movement/?utm_term=.a31c3f0472f6>.
- Weiss, Angela. “Sasha Velour on why Drag is a ‘Political and Historical Art Form.'” 7 March 2017. 13 November 2017 <http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2017/07/24/sasha-velour>.