Growing up, I had a younger cousin who was obsessed with RuPaul. The multihyphenate entertainer’s 1992 hit song, “Supermodel,” allowed him to come out of his shell and live boldly without worrying about what others thought. My 7-year-old mind didn’t quite grasp the empowering message behind RuPaul’s catchy lyrics, but years later, I recognized that “You better work” was a mantra that I too would live by.
RuPaul’s presence in pop culture and society is so much bigger than his drag queen persona. While some people get caught up in labels, the Time 100 honoree believes that “identity is not to be taken seriously.” RuPaul is able to remind people of this through the art of drag. “We show people we’re shape-shifters. We are God in drag,” he says.
Another thing RuPaul doesn’t take seriously: life.
“There are things you should take seriously like loving yourself, allowing other people to love you, which is a big one. Most of the other things are really not that serious.”
That may be a lesson you’ll gradually learn to apply to your life, but I’m taking RuPaul’s advice and making it “work” — right now.
Head over to time.com to learn more about the Time 100 Most Influential People of 2017.
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