What Drag Queens Teach Us About Perceived Femininity
Generally speaking, there are two types of drag queens－campy, comedic queens, and “fishy” (meaning feminine), glamorous queens.
The fishy queens tend to focus on the aesthetic and styling, often enhancing feminine features, whereas campy queens typically have a more defined character based around wit and schticks. There is a sort of schism between these two types of queens. Possibly because each group possesses something the other group lacks, in comparison.
The most successful drag queens straddle both worlds, but even some of the most successful are still categorized as one or the other.
Nevertheless, drag is an exaggerated form of femininity, which embodies an already prevalent idea about how women are viewed. There always seems to be a toss-up between a female celebrity being considered funny or beautiful as if one negates the other. Even though time and time again such an assumption simply isn’t true. Those who are generally considered “unattractive” comediennes,” for example, are often heckled or roasted based upon their looks.
However, there are an endless abundance of Hollywood movies in which the everyman, mediocre-looking funny guy gets the “hot” girl at the end. Thus, proving that a male comedian’s attractiveness is relatively moot because he is so funny and charming in comparison to an “unattractive comedienne.” This is something that rarely happens when genders are reversed, but then again, there are significantly fewer comedies with the female lead being the “funny” one－an entirely different issue.
What is so ironic about this whole idea is that most of the people I know find funny women attractive. Not only does being funny not detract from her appeal, but usually adds to it. So, this idea constantly drilled into the audience isn’t accurate. Which begs the question, why does such an idea exist at all?