Your Guide to Drag Queenery
local drag icon creates informational YouTube video series
by Betty Nikia
Local celebrity Miss Dee-Lovely has been working on video tutorials revealing the secrets behind the dramatic looks she rocks on stage. The series, called Dee-Lusions of Grandeur, is on her YouTube channel and updates are posted to her Facebook page. “I’ve had requests from aspiring drag queens and those that find an interest in more dramatic makeup, whether out of an interest to replicate it themselves or merely out of curiosity,” says Dee.
“As I live in a relatively rural area, I think it’s important that young performers hear someone reinforce that one doesn’t need to live in a large city and have a dispensable income to create their own illusions. Drag queens are little more than duct tape, glitter, and ambition.”
So far 11 episodes have been produced, including the aptly named “titorial” which sheds light on “creating eye-popping décolletage using duct tape and theatrical cosmetics.” The videos are the manifestation of a project with UWEC student Courtney Brown, who approached Miss Dee-Lovely in October with the idea of an internship. The first episode was uploaded to YouTube in November. The three of them, including Miss Dee-Lovely’s assistant Giggles, collaborated on the episodes – including titles such as Disco Ball Glamour Vision, Cover Girl Does Not Cover Boy, and Plastic Surgery Without the Plastic or the Surgery.
The episodes, filmed in Miss Dee-Lovely’s home dressing room, generally run 5-10 minutes and are intercut with lists of helpful items, generally aimed at doing the most with the least. “As I live in a relatively rural area, I think it’s important that young performers hear someone reinforce that one doesn’t need to live in a large city and have a dispensable income to create their own illusions,” says Dee. “Drag queens are little more than duct tape, glitter, and ambition.”
In a preemptive attempt to discourage trolls, Miss Dee-Lovely has comments closed on her videos, but uses questions that people send to her via email@example.com to shape episodes. In addition to step-by-step instructions on creating certain looks, the videos also contain snippets of drag culture, Miss Dee-Lovely’s personal history, humor, and moments of inspiration. As she says in Episode 5, “Remember that makeup can’t necessarily fix a bad attitude, and no amount of cosmetics can fix an ugly personality.” She also used the series as a forum this holiday season to raise money and items for a family who was in a tough spot. This led to so many donations they were able to provide gifts for additional families in need. Given this and the diverse feedback, I asked Miss Dee if she saw these tutorials growing into something different over time.
“I have considered creating the occasional ‘special’ episodes that utilize archive footage I‘ve held onto,” says Dee. “Makeup’s fairly trivial compared to the directions we’re considering once I’ve exhausted the material focus.”
Watch the videos on Dee's YouTube Channel:
Follow Miss Dee-Lovely upon Facebook: