The show may be called RuPaul’s Drag Race, but it’s honestly Michelle Visage that I look up to more on the judge’s panel. Nothing against RuPaul, but Michelle is someone that I see myself relating to more and wanting to emulate.
Michelle Visage is fierce. Most queens tend to be scared of her more when they first get started because they all know that she will call them out on their crap if they don’t give it their best each and every time. At the same time, she’s also very encouraging to anyone who is showing off their talent. The two moments that particularly stand out to me in her role as a judge are with Chi Chi Devayne and Ben De La Crème. In “New Wave Queens” as Chi Chi was complaining about being poor and not having the money, Michelle stops her excuses and reminds her that the show is meant to lift everyone up, and be the best they can be. She also reminds Chi Chi that you have to put in the work and look harder at thrift stores and other places if you don’t have as much money to pour into your career.
Ben De La Crème is one of the famous “I feel like we’re hiding behind another costume….I don’t think we know who you really are” stories. Michelle calls Ben on it during “Glamazon by ColorEvolution” and expands on this critique during “Drag Queens Of Comedy.” The idea of being vulnerable and versatile is such a running theme of what the judges look for in the contestants, that Bianca Del Rio used it as a famous joke in the episode “Drag Queens Of Comedy.” Both of those two concepts are things I strive for in my personal and professional life, and the better I get at them, the higher I climb.
Michelle Visage is always able to back up any critiques she has of the queens, and makes hundreds if not thousands of references to various aspects of pop culture going back into the 50’s and 60’s. This comes from her background in radio and the groups she ran with in New York. She goes into great detail on this in her book, The Diva Rules, available on Amazon and Audible.
Another life aspect that Michelle Visage has opened up about is the plastic surgery she has gone through. She’s expressed regret for how her breast implants have gone wrong and caused medical difficulties for her, but at the same time she does not blast the concept of having plastic surgery as a whole. I enjoy her candid conversations with RuPaul on their podcast about getting cosmetic work done, particularly since I have had one of my own and have been very seriously considering getting another liposuction.
Michelle Visage acts as a mother to the Dag Race cast as they tour the world. She often compares taking care of the Drag Race cast on the BOTS tour to caring for her own two daughters. I see myself as a motherly figure to my friends, and have often see myself as a mother figure to children of my own someday in the future. Michelle is a great representation of the kind of mother I’d like to be.
Michelle Visage echoes many people who have given me life advice, and pushed me to make a better life out of my own. I cannot express enough how important it is to have that teacher and mentor in one’s life – to get you to grow and do better. That’s the very reason why I document that here on this blog and have a whole category of people and characters who help me to be a better person.
I’ve seen Michelle Visage live once, for Milwaukee Pride 2016. Someday I plan to buy the VIP Meet & Greet package for the BOTS tour and shake her hand to thank her in person.
Thank you Michelle Visage, for being an inspiration!