Toronto Diary
1 min

Princesses vs queens: On drag queens and Disney

Tomorrow, OUTtv is premiering the “lost season” of RuPaul’s Drag Race (read: the first season that they never put into reruns because of music clearance issues) so now’s as good a time as any to remember what made this show great.

In a now-viral blog post originally published on MamaPop, Joy Martin-Malone talked about trying to raise her daughters to avoid the Disney princess craze, and when that failed, encouraging their burgeoning love of drag queens . . .

[Image via NewNowNext]

“My favorite princess is Ariel and yours is Cinderella and Mommy’s favorite princess is Sharon Needles.”

Then and there the door blew open. You see, Sharon Needles is not just a Princess, she is a Queen. A strong, creative, groundbreaking, wickedly brilliant QUEEN. I suddenly realized that there was more than one direction that I could push the princess mania because my children could not distinguish between Disney Princesses and Drag Queens.

When it comes down to it, I respect Drag Queens. They are artists. They are able to conceptualize an idea and transform themselves (without the help of magic, I might add). They are risk-takers. They are punk.

While I’m a firm apologist for some of the more recent Disney princesses — no one can touch Merida, no one — I can see why the earlier princesses can draw so much ire: because they’re all fucking terrible.

Have you ever watched some of the classic Disney movies? Progressive, they aren’t: most of the princesses do their best work while comatose or otherwise completely incapacitated, and the female Disney villains are purposely made ugly for the sake of establishing an easy enemy for the audience. Basically, pretty and mute = good; ugly but opinionated = boo, hiss!

Comparatively, drag queens are required to be loud and brash and occasionally, even a little rough around the edges. Yes, girly queens are given a bit of an edge, but queens are allowed to run the gamut of personalities and looks. If your daughter values drag queens over Disney princesses? Let ‘em. They’re smart kids.