Wellbeing

Why I Think ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Is The Ultimate Form Of Self-Care

Almost 10 years ago, singer, actor, drag queen and supermodel of the world, RuPaul Charles created what has maybe become the most important TV show of all time (don’t @ me). Ever since the very first episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race aired back in 2009, it has turned the world of television on its head, and for all the right reasons.

What first started as a platform to showcase the talents of up-and-coming drag performers, quickly became a place totally safe space where LGBTIQ people could talk about what it means to live as a queer person today. And as a queer person today (hey!) I can tell you how much it’s helped me

Regardless of what or who you identify as, I reckon RuPaul’s Drag Race is the ultimate form of self-care. It’s something that can make you feel good when you’re really not feeling good. Here’s why.

It shows loving yourself is important

Ru very much subscribes to the idea of self-love. I mean, at the end of each episode she serves up her infamous piece of advice, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an amen up in here?” to that week’s surviving queens. But it’s more than a catchphrase, it’s more of a way of thinking.

And it’s true! We know it’s true! When you’re not totally feeling yourself it sucks, and it messes with your head. When you don’t love yourself, it messes with your relationships, your dating life, your ability to open up, your everything.

It’s evidenced in the show too. When a queen gets too much in their own head or continually underestimates their worth, you best believe they’ll be sashaying away real soon. And nobody wants to be eliminated first.

You’re never alone in whatever you’re going through

Drag queens as a people have been through pretty much every adverse circumstance you can think of. And when it comes to conversation, there are no holds barred: the queens discuss politics, relationships, transgender issues, HIV status, abandonment and so much more.

It’s a totally candid insight into the lives of LGBTIQ people that some people just simply wouldn’t be subjected to otherwise. If that conversation about transgender issues can make one person feel a little more secure in who they are as a person, or one queen’s story on being abandoned make one kid feel not so alone, I reckon the show has done its job.

When you’re left feeling super ostracised and alone, it’s refreshing to know that there are real life people in your corner, even if they’re on the other side of your laptop screen.

What makes you different is what makes you great

In the search for America’s next drag superstar, RuPaul is looking for four things: charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent, and you know what? You don’t really get to choose what makes you charismatic, unique, full of nerve and talented – that stuff is kind of just instilled in you.

This isn’t to say you don’t have to work hard to succeed, but we see time and time again in the show where queens are too worried about how they may be perceived, rather than being their authentic selves.

And that’s another thing the show is great at teaching you – what other people think of you is none of your business, that’s on them. The greatest queens are the ones who are unapologetically themselves. Do the same, boo.

It’s almost guaranteed to better whatever bad mood you’re in

Feeling down? You better believe watching a queen like Kennedy Davenport jump off the stage into the splits, is going to give you all the life you need. But seriously, if the show is anything, it’s bloody entertaining.

It’s something that you can enjoy for what it is – a bunch of talented AF people competing for a crown. If you live for drama, there’s loads. If you love fashion, you’re going to love it. If you love acting, singing, comedy, celebrity impersonations, dancing, you name it, Drag Race will deliver.

It’s really fun to see queer people in a setting where they’re brought up and celebrated with nobody around to get them down. Yassss.

At the end of the day, it’s just a bunch of men in wigs

In the world of RuPaul’s Drag Race, nothing is taken seriously. It’s stressed time and time again, that at the end of the day, they’re all just men in wigs. And that’s the beauty of the whole thing.

Yeah the show deals with completely complex issues, but it does so with a sense of humour, and a willingness to educate people in a way that comes from a place of understanding not a place of aggression. And it’s not as though it’s a queer-only club. Everyone’s invited to the party and I think that’s really beautiful.

Look. Drag Race is a trashy reality TV show. But for this gay kid, it’s maybe the most important things to happen to the LGBTIQ people in pop culture. How often does a minority like queer folk get such an enormous spotlight shined on them? It’s something truly special, and I’m super grateful.


Bradley is a writer from regional NSW and he didn’t come here to make friends, he came to win. He tweets infrequently to his 43 followers @bradjohnston_.