If you don't live in a cave, you probably heard about RuPaul's Drag Race. If you not only know but also watch it, I love you already. The reality show is a kind of America's Next Top Model meets the Got Talent franchise. And with drag queens! I was sold to this concept even before seeing the first episode back in 2009.
12 seasons later, I think it's time for me to claim my PhD in RuPaul's Drag Race. From makeup hacks to life lessons, the show taught me so much I can say it really had a role in my development as a person. And if you're ready for some drag queen wisdom, I'm sure you can learn a lot from it as well :)
So here are some lessons I've learned from the show that can be applied to a professional environment:
- You don't need to be good at everything, but having broad knowledge is important
To get the crown, the queens need to go through challenges that go from designing and sewing clothes to singing, dancing, and even writing scripts. Everything while looking flawless in high heels. Of course, they're not perfect on everything, but they need to get on with some basics before even getting the opportunity to show their expertise. Yes, we should pursue specialisations. But having an open mind and interest in other subjects make us ready for pretty much anything (and we can even discover new skills along the way!).
- In a team, everybody needs to shine
Every single season there's the contestant who tries to show how talented they are by being a show-off in group challenges. Not that great of a strategy since it's impossible to win as a group if you're by yourself from the beginning. Sometimes it's not about getting the spotlight. It's about listening to people and making ideas fit together, maximising everyone's performance towards the ultim1ate goal.
- It's ok to fail
Success comes from risk. Although it's never the plan, sometimes we do fail (and the world doesn't end after it). Don't feel sorry for thinking big and daring to go after it. Learn from your mistakes and do better next time. In the words of RuPaul himself "and if I fly, or if I fall, least I can say I gave it all".
- If you can't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?
Due to some pretty harsh backgrounds, some queens have a hard time to realise how crazily talented they are. They end up being their worst obstacle through the entire competition until they're able to develop some self-love. Pay attention to your mental health. You can't deliver your best if you're not even the best to yourself.
- Reading is fundamental
Alright, on the Rupaul's universe, reading refers to insulting someone in a funny way, but I'm just going to be literal on this one. Books and articles are great resources to every single thing you might ever get interested in. From knowledge to pure fun, reading provides you a moment to enjoy your own company while improving your concentration, vocabulary and reducing stress. A must-have to any professional, right?