I’m constantly challenged by (what I believe) are overwhelming imperfections. As a result, I am reduced into this nagging perfectionist who won’t settle for what she already has. Something always seems to be missing. And I truly believe it’s from my upbringing. And more often than I’d like to admit–it’s about my weight. (But lets not go there...) It’s just never enough…
Unlike myself, there is a community of people who have an endless supply of confidence. (And I mean endless.) And it seems to ooze from their pores organically. They are fearless because they have nothing to lose. They know who they are and they lay it all on the table. And if you don’t like it–that’s your problem. They are comfortable in their own skin and they own it. And they are the only people I’ve ever known to tell it like it is. And those people are…
Spearheaded by RuPaul and World of Wonder Productions, RuPaul’s DragCon provides a platform for fans – of all ages and backgrounds – to meet and interact with world-renowned celebrities and icons in a creative, friendly and accessible environment. The third annual convention welcomed top talent for performances, meet and greets, panels, and more, including: Michelle Visage, Jerry O’Connell (“Mistresses”), Big Freedia, Wilson Cruz (“Rent”), Noah Galvin (“The Real O’Neills), Ross Mathews, YouTube stars including Manny Mua, Patrick Starrr, Jeffree Star, Bretman Rock, and Drag Race royalty including Alaska 5000, Bob The Drag Queen, Jinxx Monsoon, Alyssa Edwards, Kim Chi, Detox, Katya, Raven, Shangela, Trixie Mattel, Willam and many more.
I couldn’t believe it when my badges were confirmed. Not just because I’d be surrounded by Drag Queens, but this would be my very first media appearance as a blogger. And it was going to be at a Drag Convention. I could die tomorrow and I’d be happy. And maybe just maybe, their magical confidence powers would rub off on me. I can dream!
Tucked in the far back was a section entirely dedicated to auto/photographs with the Queen of Queens–Ru Paul. Excited, I waited in line with my friend Breeann. As we both debated on what we were going to say to him, our turn was up. Rounding the corner, Ru-Paul was sitting in a private room behind a white desk like a CEO. (The CEO of Drag.) I thought I would feel intimidated, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was as if I was reuniting with a loved one. He reached out and held my hand which was unbelievably soft against my tough alligator hands. (He probably thought I needed to put some lotion on. Sorry Ru.) As I locked eyes with him, he said something that I will never forget:
“I love your makeup. Those warm tones and the nude lip with your long hair is gorgeous. What foundation do you use?”
|(Left) Breeann, (Center) RuPaul (Right) Me|
I heard nothing but white noise for a hot minute which was followed by internal screaming. (And my legs may have been shaking.) I just couldn’t fully absorb what was happening. In fact, I’m still experiencing some difficulty processing the unbelievable compliments that were thrown at me by this glamazon powerhouse. And I was even having the ultimate white girl experience, the ‘I can’t even.’
I’ve never been good at taking compliments. Ever. I either laugh really nervously OR I quickly change the subject. (I know, I’m embarrassing.) I have a hard time believing the information that’s been given to me. So when Ru-Paul complimented me on my makeup and (messy) hair, I nearly exploded. I mean, I’m not an expert in any of those things! My overall look that day paled in comparison to the fierce artistry that was clearly displayed on every single Drag Queen that I feasted my eyes on at the convention. But here I was in front of someone who I admired and watched on tv. And they were just holding my hand and telling me how gorgeous I was. Huh? What? How? Why? And just like a busted old PC–I stopped functioning. And how could I? I know, I know. You’re probably reading this and wondering;
As I mentioned in my first blog post (here), I grew up as a tomboy. It was a much different experience than all the other girls who were strutting their stuff. I stuck to my television shows, my books, and my writing. They pined over boys, played with makeup and couldn’t stand getting their hands dirty. Meanwhile, I was just sitting over here wishing I could be half as pretty as they knew they were. And each time I was told I was ‘gross’ or ‘weird’, I sat there wondering if I was going to be this ugly for the rest of my life…
Confidence just wasn’t/isn’t in my wheelhouse. And plus when you are surrounded by your peers who don’t value your worth, you question your own self-worth. And that’s what confidence is, isn’t it?
Ru-Paul is a next level wizard. Once I left his autograph session (which felt like a visit from the Wizard of Oz) I was beaming. (And I’m not just talking about my highlight.) I had an extra pep in my step. I was smiling nonstop. I couldn’t get over the insane compliment he gave me. That moment of kindness seems small but it moved serious mountains. It made me believe that I was beautiful and confident in how I presented myself. All I heard past all that white noise was that compliment as it boosted my confidence far into the beyond. And in girl world that is friggin huge.
Drag Queens are a strong community of acceptance. Through all the bullshit and negativity they face in their daily life, they continue to embrace who they are. They aren’t willing to put up with anyone’s shit. And I back that 100%. By having an unforgettable personality, they are memorable and loveable. Each panel that I had the pleasure of sitting in, I was in awe at how close they all were with one another. They were like a giant fabulous family. Drag Queens are a fearless community of people who are forever accepting, motivating and real. And above all else–confident.
As I sit in front of my mirror blending in my foundation, I can hear Ru’s word’s as clear as day as the nagging perfectionist in my head gets more and more distant. Each day becomes a little easier knowing that someone out there sees’s the beauty that I have a difficult time accepting.