Ru Paul: Fashion people are "nasty" and "rot-ten"
The second season of the Logo network’s RuPaul’s Drag Race is nearly upon us. For the uninitiated, the show is a cross-dressing cross between Top Model and Project Runway, complete with its own elimination catchphrase (“Shanté, you stay, and Sashay away”), in which 12 contestants compete for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar. This season, lovely ladies including Jujubee from Boston and Pandora’s Boxx from Rochester, NY will lipsynch for their lives while RuPaul lays on the power of positivity as thick as her Viva Glam full-coverage foundation. And as if the show weren’t enough, Ru’s also got a new book, titled, what else, Workin’ It! RuPaul’s Guide to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Style (Harper Collins).
New York Fashion Week is coming up. Will you be participating in anything fashion-related?
I don’t. I cannot stand the people. I think the fashion people are so nasty and so pretentious. One thing that I am not is pretentious and I cannot stand pretentious people. I love fashion, love color, love texture, love all of that. But all of the people who surround that are rot-ten.
What do you like to wear when you’re out of drag — in other words, menswear?
Today I’m wearing jodhpurs with these beautiful Ann Demeulemeester boots that actually almost come up to my knee. And I have long legs. These are hard to find. And a black motorcycle jacket with a YSL little scarf and a beret. I look like a 1920s director.
In your book, you reveal all the tricks to create an illusion, such as taping your face. But what do you think about plastic surgery?
I love it. I love it. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. The human experience part of our journey is very short. It’s not to be taken that seriously. So if you want to snatch that face and yank it, right on, mama. You rotate the tires on your car, don’t you? So why not?
And so, about the show. Last season was a break out hit. Were you surprised?
I think that winds of change are upon us. After the Bush Administration people were tired of living under this sort of cloud of fear — self-imposed, I might add. I’m not blaming anyone. But I think people are ready for color and experimentation.
What can we expect from the upcoming season?
It is outrageous. The kids this season have had the advantage of having seen the first season and getting the lay of the land. They came with premeditated strategies. They’re actually kind of ruthless — as ruthless as an LA driver.
Contestants Pandora’s Boxx (left) and Jujubee.
Portions of the show seem to parody Tyra Banks and America’s Next Top Model. Were you inspired by her?
I don’t think we parody her. But we do have a contestant on our show whose name is Tyra — all the young drags use the names that are popular in pop culture. There’s always a Britney or a Whitney. The Tyra on our show is heavily into Beyonce. At one point she gets frustrated and says, “I have not listened to Beyonce in 14 days!”
Joan Crawford, Barbra Streisand and Cher are some of the top classic drag icons. Who are some modern women who are potential drag icons?
Beyonce, Britney, Angelina Jolie. Women who embody both male and female characteristics. Angelina Jolie clearly wears her masculinity very well. Little boys who grow up to be drag queens identify with that duality.
What other projects are you working on?
I’m actually working on another record. But we also got a greenlight for a show on Logo called “DragU,” which is RuPaul’s Drag University. We’re going to take women from the middle of America who have basically given up on themselves and really make them over from the inside out.
The second season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race debuts February 1 on Logo.
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