We are all born naked, and the rest is drag.
I’m sure most of my friends are not surprised to hear that reference. I have over the past year really got into Ru Paul’s Drag Race. A reality show and competition where the countries best Drag Queens battle it out for a title.
It’s bitchy, it’s camp and it’s completely over the top. But if you look past uniqueness, nerve and talent. You can clearly see the queens need for acceptance and their desire to promote equality of the LGBTQ+ community through their art form.
The Drag queens openly talk about the make–up and costumes as a mask to liberate themselves from their own bare skin. The battle with adversity within their own skin is similar to what we all face in our daily lives, they just do it so much better – in heels and a tonne of make up.
The man behind the mask
The mask we all wear really hides a multitude of insecurities. Some people hide their frailties better than others. I’m really good at wearing that mask and over the years I’ve realised that it’s a blessing and curse. The biggest challenge I have tried to conquer over the past 20 years is to stop worrying how other people perceive me.
I have a real strange disconnect on struggling in smaller gatherings but have no problem getting on a stage and talking to 100’s of people. Surely the larger amount of people the more it matters, but that’s not the case.
That fear of rejection
I put it all down to that fear, what happens if they don’t like me? In many situations I find myself making that judgement before I’ve even walked into the room. This is and can be self–destructive and it stops people seeing the real you.
The chewing gum theory
I read this in a self–help book about 10 years ago. It’s a great way of looking at the fear of rejection and how we process the internal thoughts around it. The difference of whether we get a yes or no to a question is based on the emotional weight we perceive it to carry.
If I was asking if you wanted a piece of chewing gum the outcome of the answer wouldn’t matter either way. However, If I was asking you if you liked my idea, a direction on a piece of work or opinion. The emotional weight does matter, as a negative reaction it could lead to a fear of rejection.
You don’t like my idea = You don’t like me!
This tends to be a default in most people, including me but it runs deeper than that. Your brain can take this a step further and answer the question before it’s even asked.
Just before walking into a room where I’m making some sort of presentation my inner demon has already answered. “They aren’t going to like what you have to say.” And inevitably they aren’t going to like me.
Yes or No, it doesn’t matter
The technique’s I’ve used to combat this is to try and take that emotional weight out of the internal discussions in my head. Regardless of whether they like my idea, or presentation is their choice and that’s ok.
We are all born naked
It’s that absurd technique of imagining people naked taken down a few notches. Realising that just because people may not like your idea, or presentation, or you as a person for that matter. It’s ok as long as you are true to yourself and treat people in the same way you would want for yourself. And the rest is drag
Drag queens perform to release themselves from the daily mask they wear, so you could say that the make–up and outfits they wear aren’t a mask at all.
I have realised that by not allowing the fear of rejection to affect me when around other people, that I relax and can be more of my authentic self. It’s quite liberating, just without the 6–inch heels and tucking, that’s a whole other discussion for another time.