RuPaul has always fancied himself a teacher. From his self-help books, and the RuPaul-izms he quips for soundbites, to the ill-fated projects Drag U and the RuPaul talk show. Think about it: Even in Ru’s Saturday Night Live appearance there was a whole skit of him teaching someone else the art of drag. Now, he’s distilled a good chunk of his wisdom down, boiled it into a workable essence in the form of an online lecture for Masterclass, a series that’s done similar seminars with the likes of Anna Wintour, Marc Jacobs, Natalie Portman, Christina Aguilera and more.
“In this Masterclass I’m going to teach you about self love, confidence, joy, lips, foundation, wigs, chiffon,” he says in a trailer for the series. “Everything it takes to unleash the magic that makes you, you.” Of course, he couldn’t do it alone: while Ru provides the tips, when it comes to makeup and wigs, Raven, who has been the architect behind the queen’s mug since RuPaul’s Drag Race season 9, is on hand.
The full course is boiled down into 16 lessons, featuring Raven building looks in six lessons as well as Zaldy, Ru’s longtime costume designer, for one. Lessons are name in typical Ru fashion: Owning the Room, Cultivating Your Tribe, and Finding Your Frequency. But in “Seeing Yourself, the fifth lesson, Ru talks about the “shame, trauma, and hard emotions that many people carry with them.” He does this by sharing his own experiences.
“My childhood was very tumultuous and traumatic,” Ru says in the trailer. “My parents were always at war so my thinking was ‘this is all too much for me, just wake me when it’s done.’ Until I realized, you know I want to be present for my life.”
“It forced me to understand my own value,” he continues. “Everything starts with know thyself — know what works with you. You have to be present enough to know what feels right.”
Ru’s Masterclass, with each of its episodes of about 12 minutes, is available today. It joins his many other projects including RuPaul’s Drag Race which comes back this week, RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars headed to Showtime in June, and RuPaul’s Drag Race: Live in Vegas which is currently ongoing. Is there a business class coming out soon Mama Ru?