Can you believe the first episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race premiered in 2009?
Since then, the show’s contestants and its namesake host have helped push the boundaries of queer representation in the media, while picking up 10 Emmy nominations and four wins along the way. Last year, RuPaul covered Entertainment Weekly’s LGBTQ issue, officially introducing the show to a wider, mainstream audience.
That's not to say that RuPaul has escaped controversy on the path to success. His statement in a recent interview questioning whether transgender people should be allowed to compete elicited plenty of criticism. "Drag loses its sense of danger and its sense of irony once it's not men doing it, because at its core it's a social statement and a big f— you to male-dominated culture," he told The Guardian, despite the fact that the show has previously brought on contestants in transition. Soon after, he took to Twitter to issue an apology. "Each morning I pray to set aside everything I THINK I know, so I may have an open mind and a new experience. I understand and regret the hurt I have caused," he wrote. "The trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers."
Despite criticism from season 10's own Drag Race contestants, the show's premiere on VH1 Thursday felt celebratory, the queens delivering fierce runway looks and plenty of sass. But one thing’s for sure: not everyone understands the art of drag—at least not yet. To clear the air, we turned to none other than all 14 of season 10's stars.
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Below, the queens reveal the common misconceptions they've witnessed plus the beauty tips we wish we knew earlier.