RuPaul Charles has become the most famous drag queen in the US. He started with nothing and worked his way up. These days, he boasts one of the most popular reality shows in the US, RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Life hasn’t always been easy for RuPaul, with him battling himself and others to move forward. After working in some entertainment fields, he has built a huge empire, and his net worth is staggering.
So how did he get to the point where he is today? Here’s all you need to know about RuPaul Charles—including the truth about his Botox injections.
On November 17, 1960, in San Diego, California, RuPaul Charles was born. After his parents split when he was only seven years old, his mother took custody of him and raised him independently. It was generally quite a chaotic childhood.
RuPaul – early life
“My family life was tumultuous – crazy hillbilly people,” he said. “Navigating through that and keeping my equilibrium even as a child… I learned how to do that early on.”
Even though RuPaul referred to himself as a “sissy boy,” he did not “have any issues” regarding being bullied by other children. As a child, he had a passion for acting, which he originally did to attract his father’s interest.
“It’s not an accident that eventually, I became the prettiest of all the girls,” he said.
While Ru was trying to capture his father’s attention via his performances, his mother used an entirely different tactic to accomplish the same goal. According to an article published in Rolling Stone, Mamma Charles was known to throw a book of matches at her husband while also dousing their car with gasoline.
“She was a bad b**ch,” RuPaul recalled. “Everyone in the neighborhood called her Mean Miss Charles, and I said, ‘No, she’s not mean; she’s just direct.'”
When RuPaul was 15, he and his elder sister moved to Atlanta, Georgia. After that, he enrolled in the Northside School of Performing Arts, although he never completed his studies there. At this location, he started playing by dressing himself in his sister’s clothes.
Shutterstock/Featureflash Photo Agency
Even though he did not finish school, RuPaul laid the groundwork for the great career he now enjoys. After quitting school, he found success in the used car sales industry as a source of income. When he turned 21, he realized he could no longer maintain that lifestyle.
The first shows in Atlanta
At that time, he knew that achieving renown was his chosen path, and he was ready to do all he needed to get there.
“I knew I had a personality, had something that I thought had value,” he told Rolling Stone. “I didn’t know specifically what language or venue it would be.”
In the beginning, RuPaul Charles would perform around the Atlanta region. In addition to his job on public access television, he performed go-go dancing in nightclubs, hosted some events, and hosted other events. At this time, he also established his first band, which he dubbed RuPaul and the U-Hauls.
“Drag sort of happened to us,” he told Oprah.
“It was very different from what I do now—punk rock, with combat boots and smeared lipstick. But I knew I had power in drag because of the reaction I got from people.”
You have to put in a lot of time and effort if you want to become famous. RuPaul did not reach his level of fame by lying around all day, as other famous people do. He got his start in acting in films with a small budget. He never gave up, even though it did not help him climb the ladder of fame. Even more than that, he started selling pictures of himself on postcards; this is a unique approach to making one’s name known.
In the middle of the 1980s, he had the sense that remaining in Atlanta would hinder him from achieving his goal of being famous. He decided to change his life and go to New York City, where he spent the first few months of his new life living on friends’ couches or at the Hudson Pier.
“The Queen of New York”
“We couldn’t get arrested,” he wrote in his 1995 autobiography, Lettin’ It All Hang Out. “New Year’s Eve of 1987, I was working coat check at a party at the Hotel Amazon down at Rivington. And I thought, ‘Here I am, superstar RuPaul, working in coat check!'”
After a short stint in Los Angeles, where his life was pretty much “couch-surfing and career-less,” amid long-standing drinking habits and toking and weekly tripping, RuPaul decided to leave for New York City once again in 1989.
Things were different in “The Big Apple” now; drag was all the rage in the gay scene. This was incredible for RuPaul, and he immediately began getting numerous job offers.
He started his career as a club dancer, and his performances were known for being colorful and spectacular. At the end of the decade, people began to refer to him as “the Queen of New York.”
“[Drag] was a great social commentary, and people responded to me in drag like I never experienced before,” he recalled.
“I said, ‘O.K., now I’m ready to get real and go for broke,” RuPaul told the New York Times. He quit partying, upgraded his look to “cover-girl glam,” and recorded a music demo. The Times says he landed a record deal “within a year.”
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race
RuPaul decided to enter the music industry and got a recording contract with Tommy Boy Records in the early 1990s. In 1993, he released his first album, which included the hit track “Supermodel,” which peaked in the top 50 of the Amazon Hot 100. You better work. Even more amazingly, he worked with the one and only Sir Elton John on a new version of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.” At this time, it was safe to conclude that RuPaul Charles had achieved his goal of fame.
After all his efforts, he had achieved fame, but his success story was just getting started. After hosting his talk show for a year under the name The RuPaul Show,” he is moving to the West Coast.
According to a story in The New York Times, RuPaul has consciously decided to take things more slowly. As part of this decision, he has been “hosting barbecues in his West Hollywood home and getting to know his nieces and nephews.”
The stigma that follows drag has been there from the start. But in 2009, RuPaul made a new career move that would drive drag into the next age. This move would propel drag into the next time frame. The first edition of the reality television competition program titled “RuPaul’s Drag Race” was shown. In this competition to uncover “America’s next drag superstar,” RuPaul serves as a host, judge, and mentor.
The term “society’s outsiders” has been used to refer to those who engaged in drag in the past. Even though RuPaul Charles has been awarded a staggering 24 Emmy awards for the program and even though it has thrilled millions of people, RuPaul’s Drag Race also serves a more important role.
It also reveals a distinct side of people as well as a culture that is vital for everyone to understand, so this is something that RuPaul himself believes it does. That is most likely the only way that drag can have any chance of overcoming the stigma that surrounds it.
“Drag takes it to the next level.”
“I think it has broken through with many people, but in terms of the critical mass, it’s still not broken through, and it can’t break through because it would require the critical mass to look at themselves with X-ray eyes and understand who they are beyond what it says on their driver’s license,” RuPaul told time.
“And that is a tall order for the critical mass.” Most people have no idea that there is a consciousness beyond their thoughts. And drag is the physical embodiment of understanding who we are. And, for lack of a better term, who we truly are is God experiencing humanity, experiencing life in human form, and having fun with it.
“Drag takes it to the next level, which is — Oh, I can do whatever I want? Yeah, you can! Most people think, Oh, I have to choose one thing and stick with it forever.”
After 13 seasons of airing, it’s fair to say that RuPaul and his challengers have found new ways to keep audiences engaged in every show’s episodes.
Shutterstock/Silvia Elizabeth Pangaro
But despite the reality that RuPaul is now one of the most famous people in the world, he has no intentions of joining the mainstream, and neither does he think that drag will ever do so.
RuPaul on Botox and plastic surgery
“I’ve never been on Ellen or David Letterman or The Tonight Show, and there’s a reason for that, which I don’t want to go into, but there’s a reason that I’ve never been thought of as someone who can go on there,” he told Vulture. “Because it makes those hosts feel very, very uncomfortable, especially if we talked.
“It would be the opposite of what they’re used to. So am I part of the mainstream? No. People know my name and what I look like, but am I invited to the party? No, and there’s a reason for it.”
Botox and plastic surgery has been a yelling match topic for some years. In the era of social media and filters, almost everything can be altered with the touch of a button.
However, simple surgical operations to improve the appearance of the nose, lips, cheeks, or any other body region have also become very popular.
Botox and plastic surgery rumors have been flying around RuPaul Charles. In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, he eventually disclosed how much he had changed his look.
Despite never having had plastic surgery, RuPaul revealed on the first episode of his program that he had had some Botox.
“Wear and tear do have a go at you,” he said. “I’ve had fillers, Botox, and my teeth have redone, and electrolysis and lasers, but I’ve never been cut. “I’m not opposed to it; if I ever had a break from work, I’d go under the knife and have my face lifted.”
“A beautiful experience”
At the same time, he’s not worried about the reactions of others.
“I don’t because I am kind,” RuPaul said. “I’m a very sensitive person, I come from a place where I was always singled out as a kid, not bullied, but people always had something to say about me or what I was doing. I danced to the beat of my drum, and I have always applauded anyone who did that.”
As RuPaul pointed out in an interview with The Cut, the show she hosts, RuPaul’s Drag Race, “celebrates plastic surgery.” At one point, he was in a hospital operating room, watching a facelift performed on another patient.
“I sat right next to him,” he told The Cut. “It was fascinating, and I had nothing but love for women on the table. I got to see where the human spirit met with the human body. It was such a beautiful experience, witnessing that place where it all happens.
“Our whole objective with the show is to guide people in the direction most helpful when caring for their bodies. We live longer as humans today. No one is ashamed about putting on a new roof or rotating their tires. “Somehow, we have shame about vanity in our Christian-Judeo background.”
The road that RuPaul Charles took to get to the top is certainly inspiring and interesting to read about. It’s amazing how well he’s fought against people’s negative ideas about drag.
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