Wellness, Design & Style

Cultural Lighthouses for the Soul


Lesson time 8:30 min

With honesty and emotion, RuPaul talks about the pop culture icons—including David Bowie, Diana Ross, and Judge Judy—who have shaped his identity and style. He shows you how to identify the icons who speak to you.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Influence on Ru’s Drag Looks


[00:00:00.00] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:17.41] - You know, as a kid, I always felt like a seeker. I am a seeker. And I was looking for answers. I knew that there was more than just what the physical eye could see. I could sense there was more. So I looked to people in pop culture to help guide me like a Northern Star. And I hitch my wagon to these stars to tag along. [00:00:40.15] You know, when you dissect the whole concept of a pop star, you realize that they represent the secret self, your secret self-- the part of you that dances around in the mirror or the part of you that's a bad girl, the part of you that's sophisticated. And these figures like disciples can be used to help motivate you out of dark times, sad times, times when you don't feel inspired. They are inspiration. [00:01:08.23] So in essence, you're using a pop star to activate or to locate a part of-- a hidden part of your own personality. And actually, throughout history, there are also people who you will find throughout your life who exemplify what you want. You know, fake it till you make it. And if you don't know which direction to go, just copy what someone else is doing, you know? It's-- there's no shame in it. Because when you interpret it, when you do it, it will become uniquely you. [00:01:45.05] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:01:51.11] I remember when I was 11, I saw "Monty Python's Flying Circus" on PBS. [00:01:59.59] - Fire! [00:02:07.32] RUPAUL: They were so irreverent. They were in drag. They were out of drag. They made fun of all of the sacred things-- religion, sexuality, politics. You name it, they made fun of it. And I thought, this is my tribe. Also, earlier on television, I saw Diana Ross and the Supremes on "The Ed Sullivan Show." [00:02:31.19] - (SINGING) With a love that's true, baby always. I'll always love you, baby. [00:02:38.16] RUPAUL: I was transfixed. The music was fabulous. They were having so much fun. And they were so glamorous. I thought, this is what I want. Now, I thought the other two girls were fantastic, but the one in the middle. [00:03:07.47] The one in the middle was giving everything she had. She was cooing, and, you know, making eyes at the camera, and scrunching her shoulders up. She was in ecstasy. And I became a lifelong fan of Diana Ross. She's got it. She has it-- that thing, that elusive ingredient that we all want to touch. We want to touch it because we suspect it exists in us. We want to find that place in us. [00:03:39.06] And the-- and for young people who are 11 years old, 10 years old, they can't articulate what they're feeling, but they can point at someone who exemplifies what it is they feel like. They can point at a pop star. When I was 11, I found out about David Bowie. Love, love, love, love, love, him. [00:04:03.83] - I'm pretty self-satisfied with my own individuality. I don't think I have to exert myself so much to explain that I'm not part of rock and roll. I have my own identity. I'm not-- I just use rock...

About the Instructor

RuPaul has transformed drag subculture into a mainstream phenomenon with devoted fans across the world. Now the Emmy-winning host, performer, and drag icon is sharing an intimate look at his personal journey to self-realization. From finding your inner truth to owning the room, RuPaul teaches you how to present your best self to the world. It’s your life’s work to shine—RuPaul shows you how.

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RuPaul teaches you how to find your inner truth to overcome hardship, gain confidence, and live your best life.

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