That’s what RuPaul says at the start of each episode of her Logo reality show, RuPaul’s Drag U, to the biological women who’ve come to the drag impresario seeking a makeover, both of fashion and outlook on life. The pithy aphorism is more profound than it might first appear: Drag is not just for professional queens. We all do drag every day.
For example, I’m currently working a New York editorial assistant look of a casual-but-office-appropriate forest-green polo and skinny jeans; later, I’ll be giving butch Julia Child at a birthday dinner with the help of a pinstripe apron and lime oven mitts. The point is that once you realize that self-presentation is essentially a game—a vocabulary of signifiers that you can manipulate and that don’t necessarily define your innermost being—dressing yourself becomes both strategic and fun.
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