For 10 consecutive years, ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ has been showcasing an intense drag queen competition, with more drama and depth than one episode of ‘The Bachelorette.’ There is so much more to this competition than a monetary prize- contestants are fighting for their reputations, working to improve their skills, and making memorable friendships along the way. These are just a few of the most important lessons you can gain from ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race.’
It’s all about confidence.
Despite contestant’s performance in the main challenge and how their runway look turned out, confidence can override all. Ru Paul and the other judges have specifically mentioned that a contestant’s self-confidence can be more impressive than even the most detailed and interesting outfits. I’m not exactly the poster girl for confidence, but as I grow older I’ve recognized how crucial it is to be confident about yourself to gain others’ respect and to maintain a healthy mentality. The way you choose to carry yourself is noticeable and impacting those around you. People respect and admire a person who clearly knows their worth and believes in themselves.
It’s so much deeper than your appearance; genuine confidence is about appreciating and using your talents to achieve success. Delving into your hobbies and unique talents can help to harness this confidence and become more comfortable with who you are. Since I began working out, I find that it has helped my confidence tremendously. Putting on your favorite outfit and hitting the gym or taking a workout class can give you a sense of accomplishment and boost your mentality. Be conscious of who you surround yourself with because their behavior and actions will have an effect on you, whether you realize it or not. Despite what you’re wearing, or how you’re feeling you should always be proud of who you are and what you have to offer.
Not everything is personal.
When a contestant is eliminated, it’s so clear through their reactions which people take the elimination personally and which do not. Even if a contestant isn’t eliminated, how they handle the judges’ criticisms can either help them to improve or set them back. If Ru Paul criticizes a contestant’s runway look or techniques, the most successful people will take this as a suggestion to change what they’re doing for the better. Whether you’re laid off from a job or not accepted to your dream school, you shouldn’t take it personally.
This is something I have personally struggled with- one bad grade, one rejection, or one bad hair day can easily throw off your day if you allow it to. I used to take my parents’ criticisms as a personal offense, but since then I have realized that their criticisms are out of love and intended to help me improve myself. I’ve learned that their knowledge and experience runs much further than my own, so I try to consider their criticisms and take their advice. If you’ve received some harsh criticism, try to take a breath and recognize the positive intent, and how you can use this advice to better yourself. I have learned that life is much easier when you try not to take everything so personally. Don’t take a set-back as a personal offense, hold your head high and continue to work harder.
All relationships are important.
Whether it comes to your family, partner, or friends, it’s important to maintain and cherish the relationships you have with people. Even in a competition, it’s important to be nice to others and create a supportive and encouraging environment. Being cruel to your competitors will only be detrimental to your own mentality and that of others, it doesn’t make you any better. After three years of college, I can tell you first hand that many of my friends have been the reason I stay motivated and feel supported during tough times.
Even becoming friends with people in my major has made classes more enjoyable and easier to pass with the help of others. The people you meet in your major or in a mutual hobby can share their knowledge and tactics to help you improve your own. Whether you’re competing or not, it’s crucial to be courteous and get to know those around you. Healthy relationships are not only crucial to your success and will make the journey to get there so much more fun.
“If you don’t love yourself, how the helllllllllll you gon’ love somebody else?!”
It’s no accident that RuPaul incorporated this iconic catch-phrase in every episode. Going hand-in-hand with having confidence, it’s equally important to love yourself from the inside to the out! I know that this can be an uphill battle, but loving yourself is key to navigating life. If you’re struggling with learning to love yourself, try to make a conscious effort to stop any negative thoughts and replace them with something more uplifting. When I’ve failed a test or received a worse grade than I had expected, I try to consider how hard I actually studied or if I could have done more, before beating my self up and criticizing my abilities. Or, if I’m just feeling low about myself for no particular reason, I try to remind myself what I’m good at and of all of the people who care about me.
Whether it’s reading a short positive affirmation in the morning, or giving yourself a moment to relax, it’s important to show yourself some love. I also find that calling my family or my closest friends can uplift my spirits and help me to return to my normal self. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to be confident in yourself and your abilities. Ru Paul constantly says this, because it is impossible to support and believe in someone who does not even recognize their own capabilities. Practicing self-love will always be beneficial to your mind and relationships with others.
Don’t forget to call home.
In one challenge, the contestants were fighting harder than usual- because the prize was a phone call home. RuPaul reminds us that no matter what we’re going through, or how much we have on our plates, there’s always time to call your family. Your family has known you since literal birth- they’ve changed your diapers, brushed off your bad moods, and supported you through it all. Don’t forget to thank the people who have helped you pursue your dreams and have kept you smiling along the way.