Life in Plastic: Analyzing Drag Race’s Plastic Runway

This week the reality TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race, featured a challenge where drag queens had to walk the runway in a plastic-themed costume. Each queen brought their best looks forward, but one of the most interesting looks presented was done by the drag queen Valentina, who dressed as a ‘Venezuelan Barbie Doll,’ with her doll-like, anatomy-less crotch exposed.

In this challenge, Drag Race willingly calls upon the implications of plastic as ‘fake’ and ‘unauthentic’ and asks the queens to ‘run with with’, so to speak. By making the choice to present herself as a barbie doll in plastic packaging, Valentina draws parallels between the inherently queer drag and a classic symbol of American femininity.

Ultimately, this reveals an interesting observation that the choice of medium (and the connotations associated with it) can draw further meaning in a work. RuPaul’s runway was her work of art, and her choice to use plastic as her medium this week provides interesting commentary on gender and authenticity.

Featured below are other plastic-themed looks of Drag Queens Naomi Smalls and Manilla Luzon.

rupauls-drag-race-all-stars-4-draglicious-as4-as4e07-manila-luzonrupauls-drag-race-all-stars-4-draglicious-as4-as4e07-naomi-smalls

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s