Yesterday’s RuPaul’s Drag Race UK episode’s sewing challenge revealed the most creative queens with some drag artists, notably Blu Hydrangea and winner of this week’s maxi challenge, Divina De Campo standing out from the crowd.
Unfortunately, the sewing challenge would be the one to dispatch Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’s legend Vinegar Strokes.
Crystal sewed a beautiful corset gown but, perhaps more interestingly, Crystal has also been noticeably outspoken, especially regarding body hair.
In a series of Instagram posts, Crystal shared her personal thoughts on what showing body hair as a drag performer means to her. The “Bitch of Shoreditch” went on to explain, after briefly discussing it on last night’s episode, that in her view gender is a social construct.
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Let’s talk about body hair! My explanation on TV wasn’t super eloquent (because tbh Ru scares me) – but here’s my point of view: . Gender is a social construct, and for me drag is all about highlighting that – poking holes in the patriarchy and shining a light on the ridiculousness of gender norms. I don’t do drag to impersonate a woman, I do it to expose the fragility of masculinity. Keeping my body hair lets people know that I’m consciously rejecting my ‘masculinity’ in favour of something else. . All that aside – lots of women don’t shave, and lots of men do – you should do whatever makes you happy! I’m glad the show allowed me to be myself. . I’ve had some lovely messages from hairy ladies and hairy queens and hairy queers – just keep rocking it babies! . Photo: @mtyparks Hair: @dazzaroid
As a person who’s attended many drag shows in East London, I remember when Crystal used to be called “Crystal Beth”, a name that I always thought hilariously smart. Many people thought her name had to be changed to make it politically correct for TV. However, the Canadian East Londoner has also opened up on Instagram about changing her name to simply “Crystal”, as Crystal Beth is obviously a nod to crystal meth addiction, something Crystal does not endorse.
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Now, let’s talk about my name! Lots of you have noticed (including a certain fave podcast of mine @racechaserpod ) that I used to be called Crystal Beth! And now I’m just Crystal. The BBC/WoW/RuPaul did not ask me to change my name. When I found out I had been cast, I asked to change it, and they actually wanted me to KEEP Crystal Beth. I originally named myself ‘Crystal’, but then tacked on ‘Beth’ because I thought you MUST have two names to do drag. It always felt a bit wrong to have a name that essentially makes light of meth addiction. It’s a serious issue, and one I have no ownership over (having never dabbled in the meth). But CRYSTAL! Crystal is obviously a witchy 80s stripper supervillain, which is everything I aspire to be with my drag. Plus – Crystal Connors in Showgirls is my eternal style and drag icon. PLUS – I worked at Swarovski when I started doing drag. PLUSSSSS, it’s much more iconic to have just one name. Just ask Cher, or Enya. Soooo… I’m saying it again and hopefully quashing these rumours – Crystal Beth is dead…. long live CRYSTAL! 💎 Well done if you’ve managed to read this far- feel free to tell me again in the comments how amazing this outfit is. Photo @mtyparks Hair: @dazzaroid
I had never thought about her name as a way of glamourising addiction, but one can only agree that the decision of shortening her drag name was a wise decision, showing Crystal’s growth as a drag performer. Crystal stands out because she is not afraid to speak out about important issues, whether it’s on TV or in a long post on social media. We love a queen that connects with their audience!