The world’s most famous drag queen, RuPaul, has been espousing the motto “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?” for decades. It’s even the mantra at the end of each episode of his long-running Logo reality competition, RuPaul’s Drag Race. The show has contestants performing, designing outfits and walking the runway, but RuPaul says that to truly slay — to be as fierce as he is, day in and day out — is a metaphysical quest: “You have to think about it as a triad: mind, body and spirit.” The 55-year-old — whose self-released 13th studio album, Butch Queen, dropped March 7 — tells Billboard how to up its day-to-day slay.
Find your frequency.
“You have an energy force field, and you have to find out what it is. With clothes, it’s finding what works with you — what colors, proportions. It’s knowing what your body is telling you.”
Meditate — and stretch.
“After your morning stretch — which everyone should do — meditate. You don’t need to be able to levitate. You can just do it for 30 seconds. I leave my body and look at myself, like, ‘Ru, what do you want to do today?’ And I say, ‘Let’s do something.'”
Let haters hate.
“Other people are going to talk shit about you. But what other people have to say about you ain’t none of your goddamn business.”
“[Drag queens] take the piss out of the idea of identity. Just because it says something on my driver’s license, does that mean I have to stick to it? That’s why drag is so punk rock. Society says, “Boys over here, girls over here; white, there; black, there.” What if you could squeeze other identities in? A pirate or a yogi or a glamourpuss? It’s fabulous! When you’re a shape-shifter, you understand that your true self is actually God in drag.”
This story originally appeared in the March 19 issue of Billboard.