Being a young, creative, "cool" gay guy as much as I wanted to be, I was obsessively listening to Belle and Sebastian and David Bowie being all stoic about what does it mean to be an artist and pulling off the "Lena Dunham inspired early 20s bullshittery" for a while ever since I moved to Brooklyn. It was around then, at the peak of my poser-ness about a year ago, my best friend started telling me about Rupaul's Drag Race and all the queens from it. I heard of that show by then, obviously, through a couple of guys I went on a oh-so-mediocre tinder dates with. But I had no interest in watching another bright and loud reality show- I thought secretly loving Real Housewives of New York was enough for me.
However, I did believe in my best friend's taste as she was one of the coolest and the most genuine glam goth girl I ever encountered in my life, I gave Rupaul's drag race season 6 a try. Instantly, I was hooked. I didn't know if it was the crazy neon pink walled so-called "Work room" or Rupaul's insanely cheesy and bad puns that is so bad it becomes good and go all around to be bad again and then good again, or the fabulously intimidating queens, but there was something interesting to it. Especially when Milk walked into the work room fully decked up in what looks like a glam version of Performance Art.
I gotta say, I love glam rock and anything glitter, glowy, or neon. Even though I mostly dress in monotone, and me and my best friend who introduced me to RPDR are exactly like Enid and Becca from "Ghost World", I still have a great fond feeling for things that are glamorous, but in a unique or somewhat different way. I think that is the biggest thing that made me and my friend a big fan of the series. Season 6's Milk, or Season 5's Alaska was the weird bridge between glam and something off, that is not even really in the realm of traditional drag.
After being hooked to the show and becoming another stereotypical gay boy blabbering about which queen wore it best at Metropolitan sipping on my overpriced Whiskey tonic, I was exited to watch the upcoming new season 7 of Rupaul's drag race. As a night routine I was having a night cap whiskey and doing some youtube surfing, thinking that maybe I will encounter something that will inspire me to make some art, or anything. And then, I stumbled on to this video.
It was Pearl's performance video, who is one of the new queens of Rupaul's drag race season 7. This was new to me, something different. I quickly got obsessed with this video as I re watched it over and over and over. The way she presents her character was almost too fresh that it gets me to thinking "What da heck is she doing??" but I just couldn't stop thinking about her and the look she had in her face. That empty, dumb, machine-like, glamorous, stoner face. That was something quite interesting to me. A dumb blond robot glam techno stoner drag queen? I was sold. All I had to do is wait till the series starts and then see if what I imagined of her was true or just a fragment of my imagination.
Pearl walked into the cinderella's-puke-tinted work room showing exactly what I thought of her. Glam, beauty, darkness, and weirdness. She reminded me of character right out of the culture-bending game "The Sims". She looks soulless, empty, and machine like with an intense charm in a weird way just like how a player of the sims develop a bizarre fondness of their artificial machine like sims characters; and yes girl, I was one of them. Maybe it is just my taste that made me think there is something so special about how Pearl presents herself since I have a history of liking things that are kind of, off, as one could say. I didn't think too seriously about it, but my obsession towards Pearl got bigger as she faced criticisms for being slow, boring, not interested in being the show, or delivering something that is not drag enough. I am agreeing with all those comments, she comes off somewhat dull, especially as the season goes on. But when the older, more traditional queens started coming at Pearl, and the young "New" girls of drag such as Miss Fame, Violet Chachki, Trixie Mattel, Max, Katya, it got more intriguing to me as it was just showing how every other fields of art reacts when the new generation waves in.
I feel like today is the time where there's a completely new generation of Drag Queens taking over the stage and reinventing what drag is, just like other visual art field is experiencing the wave of completely new and fresh talented young visual artists; these new young queens are bringing some new artistry to the plate. The ultimate Glamorous destination of the art of drag, "Rupaul's Drag Race" is obviously affected by this new wave, hence the increased number of young, new queens that approach the whole act of drag with a different mindset in the new season. When I look at this, it is so obvious where drag is going to now as an art form, almost recreating it's own look of it; which is what art should be doing constantly to itself, reinventing and bringing something new. When the old queens all go against the young queens, especially Pearl, saying they don't get the young queens' "Thing" I had to eye roll so hard my brain almost had a cramp.
I guess that is what young new talents who does something new always had to deal with as they are never understood until way later just like the punks from the 70s, and Slackers and goths from the 90s. The mass and the mainstream is always a step behind, using what is being brought up by all these new young talents, that has been shredded with criticism by the mainstream just by "not being understood" back then. The older Traditional queens on this season attacking on "The new queens" such as Trixie or Pearl by saying "They are doing something off" "It's not drag enough" seems like an exact representation of how the mainstream tries ignore what is the new thing, the new it factor that matters oh so much in any art form.
Pearl, to me, is the embodiment of this new art form that I haven't seen before. She is still in the realm of drag, without being limited to the "Fixated Description" of drag or even being too over the top to make a shock factor. She is gliding through like an elegant fish, with the hint of that glow enhanced by his gayness and imagination, just like "the fucking jewel" all young artists are yearning for so desperately. She might not be the perfect contestant for Rupaul's drag race as they are still a part of bigger production rather than an artful hipstery documentary series that concentrates on who's art is the best, but there is a reason why she is on this show, and there is a reason why she needs more recognition as an artist, a character, a queen.
Who knows, it might be just her amazing glitter job under her eyes, or her naturally pretty face, or her Amanda-Lepore-meets-stepford-wife-version-of-Anna-Nicole platinum blond hair (Which I think all girls should have) that makes me like her and defend her so much. But I do think there is something about Pearl that tells me I should keep my eye on her glowy mug. She is slowly becoming my next muse.
Regardless of all things said, being glam and gay as much as you could is always hot for me and I like all things hot and glowy. Pearl is one of my many uber gay obsessions that shines through with his self explained "90s Tacky Versace inspired, Bubblegum Pink Pearlfection" glow, and all I could say is. Glow, gay. glow.