Drag scene redefining femininity

Lilly Sharp

Growing up it was hard for me to find a relatable female role model. I wasn’t raised to be stereotypically feminine. It wasn’t until I found the world of drag that I found “female” role models I could relate to.

The Vixen, a drag queen from Chicago, described drag as “the male interpretation of female empowerment” in the trailer for the upcoming season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Drag acknowledges all of the ways a woman “should be” but then turns that into something completely different and androgynous.

It laughs at the idea of an ideal woman and broadens the scope of what that would even look like, but not without a price.

Next magazine did a survey that found that 73% of drag queens consider themselves men.  Controversy over whether men should really be the ones challenging these stereotypes is often part of the debate when looking at drag queens’ new role in pop culture thanks to RuPaul’s Drag Race.

There are often too many rigid lines when it comes to gender. Drag queens, being men, are raised to have many of the same typically masculine characteristics as myself. But for their characters, they also bring in idealized feminine characteristics.

This makes drag queens some of the most empowering and influential role models for this generation’s women.

The flexible nature of gender they portray speaks to the modern woman. The idea of what a woman grows and changes constantly.  Women are more driven and empowered than ever before.

The stereotypical lines between men and women are slowly disappearing and at the forefront of it all, drag queens are doing death drops and lip-syncing up a storm.

Verta Taylor and Leila Rupp, two professors of feminist studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, have done case studies on drag queens in Key West, Florida.

“These drag queens … use drag to forge personal and collective identities that are neither masculine nor feminine, but rather their own complex genders,” the study stated.

Drag for both men and women is a way to play with gender, stereotypes and be another version of yourself.