Drag has taken center stage in popular culture as of late; Beyonce is dressing up and striking poses in quotation marks, RuPaul’s Drag Race is quite literally a television phenomenon across the globe. As drag continues to grow in popularity, so does the impact of drag on mainstream media. Through this article, we’ll explore the origins of drag, examine its place and reception in current-day media, and discuss the role it plays in modern-day society.
1. What is Drag?
Drag is a form of entertainment that involves people dressed up in colorful and outrageous costumes to perform lip-synced songs, comedy, and dance. Drag Queens, who are typically female impersonators, are the cornerstone of drag performances, but many also feature Drag Kings, transgender individuals, and non-binary performers. Drag performers often blur the lines between gender, often wearing clothing, makeup, and wigs associated with the opposite sex.
The Impact of Drag on Mainstream Media:
- Drag has become increasingly popular in recent years due to shows such as RuPaul’s Drag Race, giving the art form mainstream attention.
- Drag has been embraced by popular culture for its daring and creative fashion, and has been featured in music videos, advertisements, movies, and more.
- Drag has also lead to greater visibility and acceptance for transgender and non-binary individuals.
- Drag has allowed many individuals to express themselves in ways that are both daring and empowering.
- Drag is a form of entertainment that celebrates diversity and encourages people to be unapologetically themselves.
2. How Drag Has Changed Over Time
Drag performance has changed drastically since entering the mainstream media. Prior to the popularity gained from shows such as RuPaul’s Drag Race, drag was mostly viewed as a form of entertainment and a niche art form. In recent years, drag has become more than entertainment or a form of creative expression; it has become a major cultural phenomenon.
Many of the ways drag has changed over time are due to the increasing number of drag queens being featured in popular culture. The visibility of drag culture has grown to a point that it is now influencing fashion, music, and more. As drag queens gain recognition by the mainstream media, their influence has spread beyond the LGBTQIA+ community and into the mainstream.
One of the most obvious changes in drag over time is the style. Drag looks have become increasingly elaborate and more varied. From glamorous gowns and sparkly costumes to club kid-style looks, drag nowadays is more varied than ever. This is due largely to the way drag queens are seen in the media, and the evolving drag fashion itself is a trend that has trickled into mainstream culture.
The way drag is performed has also evolved significantly. Drag queens are no longer just campy, sassy, or funny. They are becoming more creative and incorporating more physical elements into drag performances like dance, acrobatics, and gymnastics. This has given drag more of a performance art element, and it has increased the popularity of dragshows in both the art community and the mainstream.
- Drag visibility in mainstream media has grown
- Drag style has become more varied
- Drag performances have become more creative
- Drag’s influence has spread beyond the LGBTQIA+ community
3. Drag’s Impact on Mainstream Media
Drag’s impact on mainstream media has been significant and far-reaching. Through increasing visibility and representation, drag queens have been able to challenge dominant beauty standards, and subvert traditional gender roles. Here are some of the key ways drag has affected mainstream media:
- Beauty standards: Through their bold and often “outrageous” looks, drag queens have pushed traditional beauty standards to be more inclusive and diverse. This has had a huge impact on mainstream media, with brands now championing unconventional attractiveness, and embracing a wider range of body types.
- Unconventional gender roles: Mainstream media has seen an influx of gender-neutral representation, with drag queens in particular exploring and celebrating gender fluidity and androgyny. This has furthered the conversation around accepted gender roles, and helped to establish a more inclusive cultural landscape.
- Authentic storytelling: Content featuring drag queens is often more truthful and ophenous than more traditional forms of storytelling. This has pushed mainstream media to move away from tired tropes and cliches, and towards a much more authentic form of storytelling.
Drag’s influence on mainstream media is still evolving, but the impact it has had so far is undeniable. The advent of drag has pushed the boundaries of what is considered “beautiful” and “normal” in media, and opened up the conversation around gender roles to a wider audience.
4. Analyzing the Mainstream Reception of Drag
Drag has been one of the major forces in the modern pop culture landscape, from RuPaul’s Drag Race to the drag-influenced hit records of artists like Lady Gaga. But what has been the response from mainstream media?
First of all, it’s important to recognize that drag-related content has become increasingly popular. The hit show RuPaul’s Drag Race, for example, has attracted millions of viewers, and has become a fixture in the cultural zeitgeist. Additionally, drag queens have become popular figures in mainstream media, with figures like Bianca Del Rio and Adore Delano appearing in film, television, and music projects.
When it comes to critical reception, the response to drag-related content has generally been positive. Critics have praised the show RuPaul’s Drag Race for its “compulsively watchable and often hilarious” content, while also noting the show’s deep exploration of themes such as beauty, identity, and resilience. And individual drag artists have been lauded for their skill and charisma, with many critics noting that drag performers bring an “enchanting and subversive” energy to their performances.
It’s also worth noting the impact of drag on mainstream fashion. As drag queens have become more popular, their fashion has become increasingly influential. From the use of bold colors and fabrics to the bold makeup looks, drag has become an integral part of street style and the fashion industry.
In conclusion, the influence of drag on mainstream media has been substantial. The show RuPaul’s Drag Race has become one of the most popular shows on television, while individual drag performers have become popular figures in film, television, and music. Additionally, drag-related fashion has become influential in the mainstream fashion industry. Overall, drag has become an integral part of the modern media landscape, and its influence will likely only continue to grow in the future.
5. Exploring the Impact of Social Media
In recent years, the art of drag has been increasingly embraced by mainstream media. Social media platforms have played a particularly integral role in this trend. Here, we explore the impact that the rise of drag on social media has had on our media consumption.
Normalization of Drag – Spending more time on social media has made drag more accessible and normalized in comparison to other forms of art. Viewers no longer need to find a theatre or event to experience drag, and can just view it live on platforms such as Twitch or Instagram. This has led to many audiences forming communities that discuss their favorite drag performances and create platforms to celebrate the art of drag.
Acknowledgment of the Political Movement - Social media has also allowed drag to be acknowledged as an important political movement. Through platforms such as Twitter, people are becoming more aware of the importance of drag in tackling issues around gender identity and social acceptance. This has resulted in more mobilization around drag’s politics which can now be discussed and commented on through social channels.
Growth of Amateur Drag Art - The growth of drag art on social media has also led to an explosion of amateur drag. This has enabled users to get involved and experiment with drag without having to attend a show or be an experienced drag artist. As a result, there is a much larger pool of talent and people who are interested in the art.
Increasing Representation – Finally, the rise of drag on social media has led to a greater representation of drag in mainstream media. This has seen drag performance featured in films, television shows and other forms of media more than ever before. This has resulted in a wider acceptance of drag and its growing importance in our culture.
6. Illustrating the Cultural Relevance of Drag
Drag is a global phenomenon that has inspired many generations around the world. By looking at the history of drag, we can see that many cultures have incorporated drag into its very foundations. Here are some of the most notable aspects of drag from each culture:
- United States: Drag has been an important part of the United States for many decades. From drag shows to popular TV shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race, it has been a significant part of our cultural landscape for many years.
- Mexico: Drag in Mexico is widely seen as a harmless performance art – it’s seen as a way to make fun of stereotypes and celebrate diversity.
- United Kingdom: The UK has a vibrant drag culture, most notably showcased in cult films like The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Priscilla: Queen of the Desert.
- India: Drag in India is often referred to as “flamboyant art” and is often a highlight of street performances.
- Australia: A popular form of drag in Australia is “freak-show drag,” where performers will dress up as crazed characters in bright, outrageous costumes.
- Japan: Drag performances in Japan are often called “otoko-muke” or “man-woman” shows and are seen positively by the public.
These are just a few of the many ways drag has been, and continues to be, incorporated into different cultures around the world. Through performances, films, and television shows, drag artists are celebrated for their creativity and courage. Drag is an art form that transcends cultures, and its impact on mainstream media has been immense.
Overall, the art of drag has had an immense influence on mainstream media. It is clear that drag has opened up numerous conversations and helped to further blur the lines between gender and sexuality. As the art form continues to grow in popularity and acceptance, it is sure to be a big part of the media landscape for years to come.