Friday, October 22, 2010

Blog 9: Femininity, Drag Queens, and Drag Kings

Traditionally women are supposed to evoke the feminine prototype that was placed upon us from the dawn of time. We are the passive, feminine homemakers and the men are the aggressive, masculine providers. As stated in Tania Modleski's essay, "Femininity as Mas(s)querade: A Feminist Approach to Mass Culture," 'masculine=production and work; feminity= consumption and passivity'.

In the realm of makeup and beauty this still rings true. Makeup is typically seen as a woman's only thing and a way to enhance your femininity. However, guys have been getting in on the action too. Drag Kings have increasingly become prominent in pop culture. Quite possibly the most well-know drag queen is RuPaul.

More drag queen images:

And quite possibly my favorite drag queen. The sweet transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania (lyrics from the movie, not my own personal description of the character), Dr. Frank-N-Furter from Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The taboo of dressing and changing your appearance to change your social gender roles isn't restricted to men dressing like women. Although they are not as prominent in pop culture as drag queens, there are also women who dress and make themselves up to look like men. Drag kings. 

As mentioned in Judith Halberstam's essay, "Drag Kings: Masculinity and Performance," "Drag queens have been the subject of mainstream and independent movies, and straight audiences are, and historically have been, willing to pay good money to be entertained by men in drag."

However, drag king performances are typically less successful than drag queen shows. Even in the beauty industry, you will see more guys applying makeup to look like women than you will a woman applying makeup to look like a man.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.