I’m just going to come right out and say it: RuPaul’s Drag Race is the best show on television. It’ s also the best beauty pageant out there. Here’s why.
1. It’s so much more than a beauty pageant.
Drag Race isn’t just about painted faces. Prettiness isn’t even in the criteria for winning the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar. Here’s what a queen needs to have to win:
An acrostic poem. Just like the book of Job.
Past winners have been Broadway costume designers and aerial performers. Also porn stars. It takes all types.
2. The drama is fantastic.
This shit is more entertaining than Real Housewives, and I’m talking Real Housewives of Atlanta. And it is the opposite of staged. Alyssa Edwards really does hate Coco Montrese that much.
There’s a special behind-the-scenes spinoff show called Untucked*, where the girls sit down to drinks and throw more shade than that giant highway umbrella in China. Drinks are tossed. Wigs are pulled. Obscenities are employed.
3. It’s diverse.
Most beauty pageants have one note, and that note is white and thin and kind of boring after a while. Not Drag Race. Fat queens, black queens, trans queens, drama queens — it takes all types to put on a good drag show, and RuPaul has that figured out. There are former convicts on the show, for crying out loud. One of the queens has NARCOLEPSY. As in, falls-asleep-during-elimination-challenges narcolepsy.
It is so cool to see all those different types of bodies being unapologetically beautiful and being praised for that beauty. For a show comprised almost entirely of male contestants, Drag Race is probably a better representation of women than most of the other beauty pageants out there.
This woman is everything a drag queen should be. I might be biased here because this is my favorite queen of all time, but she really was the keystone of this past season. If you aren't sure that drag is for you, this is the queen who will convert you. Just watch this video. Unless you’re at work. Or with children. Headphones are kind of a good idea in general when watching Drag Race.
I literally have this on a playlist I made of videos that helped me recover during a mental breakdown. This show has restorative properties. Like a gay, sparkly hot spring.
5. It has a great message.
I’m being serious here — I want my future children to watch this show, especially my daughters. (Maybe not while they’re developing language, though. I think I’d get a few calls home.)
This show is all about celebrating the power in creating your own self, and in loving that self unconditionally. RuPaul ends each episode with the same saying:
“If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an amen?”
Amen, Mamma Ru. Amen.
*Also the puns. All of the puns. There’s a queen named Penny Tration. If that doesn’t convince you to watch, I don’t know what else will.