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Expressing your inner drag
  • By Lee Yeon-ju, cub-reporter
  • 승인 2018.05.13 12:49
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Should I live only with a certain gender? Drag is emerging as one of the big subcultures that have grown rapidly in the US over the last two years. Drag is about decorating oneself differently from the socially expected appearance according to sex, jobs and so on. For example, in the film 'Paris Is Burning' (1990), the poor people of the non-mainstream black society who had been discriminated in the past, followed the outlook of corporate executives who were social entrepreneurs and performed in clubs. Drag has been associated with sexual minority cultures since the 1930s. In the past, it was often exaggerated to emphasize feministic qualities, such as dressing cisgender gay men look. Over time, however, the range of the drag culture has been widened, and each artist has defined drag based on his or her individuality.

The drag has a drag king that emphasizes the characteristics of what is generally considered a man, and a drag queen whom emphasizes the characteristics that are considered to be female. A drag queen is a combination of drag and queen, which refers to cross dressing. Cross dressing is the act of attempting to appear as the opposite sex with clothes, makeup, and style. In other words, a drag queen refers to a man who is dressed in a gorgeous dress and dancing behind the stage. They wear wigs, makeup, costumes, and sometimes dance and sing at shows. The world's largest drag queen is RuPaul. RuPaul was born in the US in 1960. RuPaul, who was very active in New York, became famous after the hit, "Supermodel (You Better Work)," during the 1990s. After that, he became the first MAC cosmetics model as a drag queen. He has been a legendary drag queen while working for 10 on the VH1 channel named after himself, RuPaul. He brings together many audiences and teaches how to love and reconcile in the show. He said, "If you are different from others, you are not deserving of love. You are a person who is worthy to be loved by itself." In this show, 12-14 drag queens came out to compete. The lowest ranked contestant in every episode was eliminated and the last one was selected as the “America's Next Drag Super Star.”

In the United States, TV shows about drag have been on display for decades, but in Korea, drags have only just begun to become known to the public. However, the Korean drag system is open. In Korea, there is a drag queen named Hurricane Kimchi who is active in Itaewon. The name represents how he wants to be an influential performer like a hurricane while holding Korean colors. He says that drag is "an art form that gives you another power and confidence." Usually, he is introverted, but when he becomes Hurricane Kimchi, he becomes more dignified and can express his artistic side, which is hard to express in everyday life through the drag. The reason why Hurricane Kimchi started drag was because he had an interest in human rights. For this reason, he is a person who was an artist before being a human rights activist. Now, he is also aware of the human rights issue through works of art and drag. Lasty, we aim to be a resilient drag queen community that can use drag positively to unite sex communities and oppose political opposition.

RuPaul, the famous American drag artist, said "We're all born naked and the rest is drag." That is, everything we do in life is drag. It is also a drag on a naked body to wear a female costume, a student's costume, an office worker’s suit. Society expects 'normality' for the individual. And in these societies, there are people who are unjust and suffering because they do not meet the standard of the norm. However, Drag shows that there is make-up to keep people from being beautiful, such as standing on the stage or uploading pictures to SNS. It is more meaningful because it is a way of expressing non-consensus decisions on the absurdity of society, It redefines the standards of beauty presented by society and includes the sexual minority human rights movement. Why not try to confidently express your personality by looking at the way you express yourself outside the stereotypes of society?

▲ Drag Queen Hurricane Kimchi performing at a bar in Itaewon
▲ RuPaul became a legend in the drag queen area
▲ RuPaul turned into a woman

By Lee Yeon-ju, cub-reporter  ekrud6059@naver.com

<저작권자 © The Campus Journal, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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