After being fascinated by the concept of a grown man having the ability to transform himself into a gorgeous ‘female’ in mere hours (as well as extensive research thanks to the magic of On-Demand cable television), I have come to the conclusion that Drag Queens serve as the ultimate role model for young women across the globe. As a biological female living on her own and taking the plunge into adult life and all that comes along with it, I have learned that we can all use some inspiration. My inspiration just happens to have an Adam’s apple and wears stilettos.
1. Tell it like it is: No tea, no shade
I admire honesty. My mother always taught me that a lie is like a poison; a lie can spread quickly and breed more destruction than you may have ever though possible at its inception. Even if you think it may hurt someone, be honest with them. The will appreciate it in the long run. You think I overpaid for my Free People leather skirt, or that my hair is a hot mess, or that the person I am seeing is no good for me? TELL ME. I consider honesty (though sometimes it may be brutal) a quick way to face reality and learn a valuable lesson.
I briefly ‘dated’ an Australian guy who acted like I was a rare and marvelous gem. He would stare at me adoringly and constantly say, “I love your confidence. I LOVE your confidence” (his accent worked well for that one, I’ll admit). I was shocked to hear this. I never considered myself an extremely confident person, but I made it a point to say what I meant and walk with purpose and intent. I know my strengths, as well as my weaknesses, and I make it a point to sell myself on these strengths when needed. Your confidence will shine through, and that aura will attract others like moths to a flame.
3. Never be afraid to be the best version of yourself.
Sure, the argument can be made that a Drag Queen is not truly ‘being them self’ because at the end of the day, they are a man dressing and acting as a woman. That Queen — despite the uncomfortable, duct taped junk-tuck and itchy lace front wig — is as happy as a pig in mud to be flaunting a self-made clothing creation that even Gaga herself is jealous that she couldn’t pull off if she tried. She is living and breathing the true essence of her soul, and she doesn’t care who likes it.
4. …but realize that not everyone will be your #1 fan.
Let’s face the facts: while you may possess all the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent there is within a 100 mile radius, not everybody will appreciate the glow you shine onto the world. People can and will try to snuff out your candle.
5. “Water off a duck’s back…”
No matter how caustic your enemies’ words and actions may be, never let it get to the core of you.
After a recent, less-than-successful date, I got a text message that was clearly meant for someone else:
“Her perfume smelled funny. Was not attracted to her. She seemed bored. Very hard to talk to. You name it!!! ’S’all good tho, I made a clean exit!”
I squinted at the phone, ensuring that this was, in fact, real life. I thought I looked and smelled pretty damn good! Plus, I put my best, most polite self forward while counting the minutes until this Ichabod Crane-looking MF’er walked me to my train (the Disney version of Ichabod Crane, not the Johnny Depp Sleepy Hollow one, FYI). I even offered to give him money for the drink he bought me. But in that moment, I realized that I was not his cup of tea, and neither was he mine. These words hurt, even though they were meant for someone else’s eyes. Instead of letting it fester inside of me and bruise my ego, I let it roll like water off a duck’s back (thanks Jinkx Monsoon). He could have at least indirectly insulted me with correct grammar…
6. Be FIERCE.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Ladies, ferocity is within all of us. Maybe you woke up this morning feeling like absolute shit on a stick. Or perhaps your significant other is royally pissing you off. Maybe you got a flat tire or missed your train to work, or got your period in the middle of a presentation. Whatever it is that irks you, shake it off, get up, dress up, and show up. Be accountable and stand your ground. This will get you farther than you know.
7. “If you can’t love yourself, how in the HELL are you gonna love somebody else?”
Self love and acceptance is the most important kind. I always believed that in order to be happy in life and in love, you need to accept who you truly are and embrace it. I have terrible bunions. Some days, I feel like my ass should have its own zip code. My hair has this weird kinky flip thingy that I can never properly straighten. I am impatient. I fall hard and fast. I type obnoxiously loud. I cry very easily. And I love it all. And if you love me, you will love ALL of me, crooked pinkies and morning breath included.