Drag has been a staple in the LGBTQ+ community for decades, and its popularity has only continued to grow in recent years. The art of drag is a unique and captivating form of self-expression, combining elements of theater, dance, music, and fashion to create a truly one-of-a-kind performance. There are many different drag queen styles used today, each with its own unique flair and personality. If you’re new to the world of drag, it can be overwhelming to try to understand all of the different elements that make up a drag performance. In this blog, we’ll break down the key elements of drag and explain what makes each one so special.
What is the Definition of a Drag Queen?
A drag queen is a person, usually, a man, who dresses in clothing and makeup typically associated with women, often to entertain others in a theatrical or performance setting. Drag queens often perform in clubs and other venues, lip-syncing to popular songs, dancing, and engaging in other forms of theatrical expression. Drag queens may also participate in beauty pageants and other events that showcase their talents and costumes. The term “drag queen” is often associated with the LGBTQ+ community, where drag has been a form of self-expression and cultural expression for many years.
What is the Origin Story of Drag as an Art Form?
The art of drag has a long and rich history, dating back to the early 20th century. It is believed that drag performances first became popular in the United States during the 1910s and 1920s, as a form of entertainment in vaudeville and burlesque shows. Over the years, drag has evolved to become a central aspect of LGBTQ+ culture, with drag queens performing in clubs and other venues around the world.
Drag has also been a form of political and social activism, particularly in the late 1960s and early 1970s when drag queens were at the forefront of the LGBTQ+ rights movement. During this time, drag became more visible and accepted as a form of artistic expression, and drag queens began to perform in mainstream venues and on television.
First and foremost, the most recognizable element of drag performance is the costume. Drag queens put a great deal of time and effort into creating the perfect outfit, one that not only flatters their body but also showcases their personality and style. From head to toe, every element of the costume must be carefully considered, including the wig, makeup, shoes, and accessories. A good drag queen knows how to use costume to create a character and tell a story, whether it’s through the use of glitter and sequins or more elaborate props and accessories.
Next, let’s talk about makeup. Makeup is an essential part of drag performance and is often what sets a drag queen apart from the rest. The goal of drag makeup is to create a flawless, over-the-top look that is both glamorous and attention-grabbing. Whether a drag queen is going for a classic Hollywood glamour look or a more avant-garde style, the makeup must be flawless and perfectly executed. It’s not just about looking pretty; makeup is also used to create the illusion of a different gender or to exaggerate facial features to bring a character to life.
Another important element of drag performance is the music. Drag queens use music to set the tone for their performances and to get the audience moving and grooving. Whether it’s a classic ballad or a high-energy pop song, the music must be carefully selected to match the mood and style of the performance. Many drag queens also lip-sync to the music, adding another layer of entertainment to the performance.
Finally, let’s talk about the performance itself. A good drag performance is a combination of humor, drama, and spectacle. The queen must be able to command the stage, engage the audience, and create a memorable experience that will be talked about long after the performance is over. Whether it’s through a series of death-defying stunts or a simple yet heartfelt monologue, a drag queen must be able to captivate the audience and leave them wanting more.
Here are some famous Drag Queens and a short description of each:
RuPaul – Known as the “Queen of Drag”, RuPaul is a model, actor, and TV host
Divine – An American drag queen, singer, and actor. Known for her outrageous and flamboyant performances and was a prominent figure in the world of drag during the 1960s and 1970s
Chad Michaels – An American drag queen and performer. Known for his highly skilled impersonations of famous female celebrities
Manila Luzon – A Filipino-American drag queen. She is known for her glamorous and stunning looks, and her contributions to the drag community
In conclusion, the art of drag is a unique and captivating form of self-expression that combines elements of theater, dance, music, and fashion to create a truly one-of-a-kind performance. From the costume to the makeup, music, and performance, every element of a drag show is carefully considered and executed to create a memorable experience for the audience. If you’re new to the world of drag, take some time to explore the different drag queen styles used today and see what speaks to you. With its combination of humor, drama, and spectacle, drag is sure to be a captivating and entertaining experience that you won’t soon forget.