The Drag Race season eight fave recently appeared on Them’s YouTube series “Becoming” to discuss her lengthy career, both in drag and in her myriad other pursuits.
Kim Chi did drag for the first time at the age of 25, when her best friend at the time suggested that they try it for fun for Halloween. Kim Chi turned a Minnie Mouse-inspired look, though as she clarified, “It was just, like, an Asian woman with Minnie Mouse ears and some red and white polka-dotted sweater.” Her drag name? Jizzney Princess. (Sadly, she dropped the name after that night.)
Kim Chi got onto Drag Race the first time she auditioned, which she described as “very surreal.” “Part of me is like, am I getting scammed right now?” she said. “Like If I go to LA, like will I get kidnapped and wake up in a bathtub with my organs missing?” She did not, and made history as the first-ever Korean queen on the show.
Accordingly, Kim Chi’s favorite look was the hanbok she sported during the Ball Challenge. “Even if I go home first," she said she remembers thinking, “I hope I get to show this look because I have to show a traditional Korean outfit on national television.”
Shje also spoke about how she “was forcing [her culture] into the gay nightlife” beyond Drag Race, performing to Korean pop songs “before BTS and before the American public knew about K-pop.” In the Drag Race season eight finale, Kim Chi went a step further and performed her instantly iconic song, “Fat Fem and Asian,” a play on a discriminatory message that used to be commonly found on gay hookup apps.
“Didn't ever think you'd see a POC queer brand at CVS did ya\!”
“Nowadays you don't find that in the gay dating profiles, but back then that was just like a common thing,” she said. “You always feel alienated and you almost don't feel welcome in gay spaces.” Though Kim Chi was “very nervous” when she performed the number, it was (and continues to be) well-received.
She also spoke to the creation of her “favorite makeup line,” Kim Chi Chic Beauty. The queen explained that when she started doing drag, there weren’t very many pigmented products on the market, and those that did exist were expensive. “I told myself if I ever built a makeup company, I want to create makeup from someone who works a nine-to-five corporate job to clowns,” she said. “I want to be inclusive.”
For more about Kim Chi’s career, including more on Kim Chi Chic Beauty, her relationship with Trixie Mattel, and her lifelong foodie status, head to Them’s YouTube channel.
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Originally Appeared on them.