Drag contestants on Logo’s reality competition series RuPaul’s Drag Race may emulate female archetypes and icons, but if you want to know what girls are really made of, ask Drag Race guest judge (in tonight’s episode) Dita Von Teese.
The international burlesque star and longtime supporter of LGBT rights will be guest-judging the wigs, the walk and the "where’d-he-put-it?" on tonight’s show. Von Teese knows that sometimes, the sexiest thing you can do is leave a little to the imagination. Or, in the case of those photos with Playmate Alley Baggett, not.
AfterEllen.com: What do you think makes a good drag queen versus a great drag queen?
I also think that star quality and charisma are very, very important. I also love queens that are very masculine when the drag is off. My drag pals have to be gentlemanly when they’re out of drag with me.
AE: How are drag performers and burlesque performers similar? How are the different?
Burlesque performers and drag queens are both self-taught and self made, so you have the element of artistry, ambition and that will to succeed that doesn’t occur in every aspect of entertainment, especially now in the era of glam squads for celebrities. Oh, and lots of burlesque shows in the 30s and 40s had female impersonators, so there is that connection too.
AE: What did you look for as a judge for RuPaul’s Drag Race?
AE: Lesbians and bisexual women have very diverse ideas about what "femininity" means. How do you define it?
Photo credit: Chris Hatcher / PR Photos
AE: Do you think the drag queen paradigm for illusion can be translated to drag king? Have you seen a drag king show?
I’ve always loved women in menswear, I have to say. I went through a period in my life where I was always slicking my hair back and wearing tuxedos and three piece suits, a la [Marlene] Dietrich.
AE: Images from your Sapphic photo shoot from 1999 were posted paparazzi website (SplashNews). Are you upset that that they weren’t used in a more artistic manner? What was the original purpose of the shoot?
Dita Von Teese with Playmate Alley Baggett
AE: Your love of the 40s era is legendary. Do you wish you were born then? Why does it appeal to you so?
RuPaul’s Drag Race airs Monday nights at 9/8c on Logo.