RuPaul Charles, Supermodel of the World and the mad genius behind the reality TV phenomenon RuPaul's Drag Race, took some time away from myriad hosting/singing/writing/producing commitments to host an AMA ("Ask Me Anything") on Reddit, with predictably delightful results.
Along with discussing his career and favorite works of art, RuPaul also dispensed words of advice on fashion, confidence, and battling personal demons. Here are some of the best parts:
Why did you decide to go by your real name, RuPaul, instead of taking on a drag name?
Because I was stupid. It's important to use a stage name so that your real name doesn't appear on public records.
What's the fondest childhood memory you have?
The time my sister Renetta took me to the Canyon with a paper bag of cookies and a blanket, and told me "Ru-ru- this is a pic-nic." I was 5 years old. That's when I first learned about magic. Because to anyone else, it would be a paper bag and a blanket. But Renetta turned it into a magical event by calling it a pic-nic.
What makes a gay icon?
What makes a gay icon is someone who possesses both masculine and feminine qualities simultaneously. Someone with the power of Judy Garland and the vulnerability of Judy Garland is a shoe-in. The world we live in is made up of polar opposites, black/white, male/female, night/day, and a human being who possesses both masculine and feminine - vulnerability and strength - is intriguing to us, whether they be a singer or actor or dancer, intrigues us, because THAT Is who we really are. We are this world, all of it, and when we recognize it in other people - that person gets our attention. That person becomes the representation of your own potential.
If you had to pick one movie for the whole world to watch, what would it be?
The Wizard of Oz. It says everything you need to know about what we are doing on this planet.
I love A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. And I love a Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. I also love the Tom Perrotta books The Leftovers, and my all-time favorite book is Animal Farm by George Orwell.
Who is your comedy icon?
I loved you in But I'm A Cheerleader. What was your favorite part of working on that film?
It would be watching Eddie Cibrian's booty in those cutoff jeans.
Dealing with anxiety I have repeated many of your quotes to myself, to keep going, to stop judging myself, etc. But sometimes the saboteur seems to be screaming so loud that I can't avoid it. When the saboteur gets too loud, how do you deal with it?
You have to nurture another voice that counteracts the saboteur. And you have to also ask yourself - are you willing to give up the payoff you get from succumbing to the saboteur?
What would you say is your most important piece of fashion advice?
Be yourself. Know your proportions. And have a good tailor.
I've got an artesian well on my property and the water pressure is lousy. Any suggestions?
HAHAHA. Sissy that water!