Dear Drag World,
In light if the painful performance of Miss Utah at this year’s Miss America pageant, and the generally bad rap “pageant queens” get on Rupaul’s Drag Race, I’d like to show you my two favorite pageant performances. These two examples should serve as stark rebuttal to anyone who says pageant girls are simply walking stereotypes, pretty drama queens with no real edge or talent.
First is Shangela Laquifa Wadley, competing for California Entertainer of the Year in 2010
This performance has a bit of everything I like about drag, the classic satire of popular culture, the caricature of pop iconography, as well as the big hair, high heels, and high energy. Shangela shows herself as a smart, funny, talented queen.
Still, some might argue that her performance is too classic, simply too typical. They claim, with cause, that we've already seen queens in big wigs dancing to Britney Spears, backed up by shirtless men in tight shorts and eyeliner. They point out that pageant queens may be talented, but they never push the envelope. They are too main stream, too traditional. In fact, many claim that the pageant system itself perpetuates established standards and only rewards convention.
In response, I submit this clip of the brilliant, cutting-edge pageant princess, Queen Bee Ho.
(Miss Continental Pageant 2012)
While her style is distinctly her own, I think she at least matches, if not surpasses, the avant garde image of Raja and the shocking, cutting edge style of Sharon Needles, and she does it like a pageant queen.
What do you think? Do you like pageant queens? Do you think they get a bad rap? Which ones? Do you think there is any chance a pageant queen will be crowned in season six? Thanks for reading, comment below.
Hugs n' Tugs,