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The creative power of blackness and drag, according to Monét X Change

For the nearly 200 queens who have graced ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race,’ it can be hard to turn those 15 minutes into a lasting career. But not for Monét X Change.

The creative power of blackness and drag, according to Monét X Change
[Photo: Celine Grouard]

Listen to the latest episode of Fast Company’s podcast Creative Conversation on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, RadioPublic, Google Play, or Stitcher.

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The art of drag has finally been getting its long overdue place in mainstream culture, led in no small part by RuPaul’s Drag Race. Now in its 12th season, the show has introduced the world to nearly 200 queens across the U.S., the U.K., and Thailand. And while every queen is special in their own right, it can be hard to turn those 15 minutes into a lasting career. But Monét X Change doesn’t have to worry about that.

Since her time on season 10 of Drag Race and winning All-Stars 4, Monét has appeared in national ad campaigns for Pepsi, released an ambitious visual album, got her own talk show, The X Change Rate, on Yahoo!’s digital network BUILD, has been a fixture on Drag Race live tours, and beyond.

Monét’s secret? Being Monét.

“Because so many people have done so many great things, the lines of authenticity and creativity are blurred a little bit. Sometimes you’re so inspired by this person that you’re not realizing that you’re making a product that’s almost too similar,” Monét says on the latest episode of Fast Company‘s podcast Creative Conversation. “And it’s like, where, but where are you? So I think that creativity in 2020 for me is defined as authenticity. No one else can be you but you. How many people are in the world? Almost a trillion? Out of one trillion people, you have a 100% chance of being yourself.”

[Photo: Celine Grouard]
In this episode of Creative Conversation, Monét explains . . .

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. . . how she veered from a potential opera career into drag.

“The real tea is, opera and drag are pretty much the same thing. But I did this pageant, and I just had so much fun. I just put on some Ruby Woo lipstick from Mac, and I put on some eyeliner—and I had the time of my life.”

. . . how embracing her blackness has impacted her drag.

“I want to show the kids who are watching me, or whoever, that I am embracing my blackness and my drag and doing as much as possible. I’ve been read by people saying, ‘Girl, braids again?’ Yeah, braids every muthafucking day!”

. . . why more creatives need to stop striving for perfection and work with what they’ve got.

“I stutter. I’m a mess. I say the wrong things. I wear the wrong things. I do the wrong thing sometimes. It is impossible to be perfect and be everything for everyone. But there’s one thing that you can always be: yourself.”

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Listen to the latest episode of Fast Company’s podcast Creative Conversation on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, RadioPublic, Google Play, or Stitcher.

advertisement
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About the author

KC covers entertainment and pop culture for Fast Company. Previously, KC was part of the Emmy Award-winning team at "Good Morning America," where he was the social media producer.

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