Friday, February 28, 2014

Serving Political Realness

Confession: I'm not one to cry over a celebrity's passing, but I figured out recently in a conversation with my husband who exactly I'll cry over when she leaves this earth: the drag queen superstar RuPaul.

I've watched RuPaul's Drag Race (RPDR), the American reality television program, since its premiere in February 2009. And I've watched RuPaul educate viewers on drag culture and celebrate and normalize varying expressions of gender identities since then, too. She's classy, beautiful, strong, smart, confident, and, best of all, subversive.

Drag culture celebrates confidence, applauds overacting, and champions the proud queen. It also makes a mockery out of the patriarchal rules and political structures that we follow.

Zoe's post on Hitler being the 5th searched term on Yahoo reminded me of a pop artist I came across recently via jezebel, HuffPo, and all the other usual places one goes to find these kinds of things. Saint Hoax, who fashions himself a "POPlitical artist" (do with that what you will), found an intriguing intersection between drag culture and politics. His digitized gifs and images suggest that international politics and political history are a drag, its participants mere performers staging theatrics.

And what I like about it is the subversive act of feminizing through makeup and costumes the men to whom we have given power. I'm not suggesting here that women are weak; rather, these images to me are an equalizer. Finally, in slapping makeup on them, Saint Hoax is allowing us to see these men without their masks of power.

Check out some of his images:

The last image is, of course, Barack Obama. And I have to say: Tina is serving it! She is serving me Gladys Knight, chicken-n-waffles, I-used-to-be-Detroit-Motown-but-now-I'm-Atlanta-bougie realness.

So here's the website to check out for yourselves if you'd like more info on the artist and on this project:

That's all I'm going to say for now. Oh, and also that I have the most amazing and perfect drag name ever, which I'll share if you promise not to steal it. My drag queen name is Rococo Baroque. And she is confident, supportive, glamorous, a bit prone to snatching ornamental gold objects, witty, and charming. She has, in the drag sense of the term, read Voltaire to filth twice (he needed it, honey) and told Rousseau that he can get it. I'm a fan.

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