As part of their 25th Anniversary issue, Dazed paired up RuPaul and Dolly Parton to see what would happen when their oversized personalities and hairstyles collided. As you might expect, it went quite well.
Here are a few highlights.
Dolly on meeting RuPaul for the first time:
“I thought he was big and beautiful. We’re just like twins, except he’s about four feet taller!”
RuPaul on Dolly’s image:
Drag says, ‘I don’t take myself too seriously.’ In fact, image is something to have fun with, and to play with, and that’s what her image does. She has never said, ‘I want to be taken seriously as a musician.’ She doesn’t have to, because her music speaks for itself. So she can have fun with her image. My image is two parts Diana Ross and Cher, one part David Bowie, and three parts Dolly Parton, and that’s how I came up with my persona.”
Dolly on country girls:
Well, I guess that the difference between a country kid and a city kid is… I mean, city kids have nannies, and country kids have nanny goats. (laughs)
RuPaul on laughter:
When you are a sweet, sensitive soul and you feel everything, you see the world’s hypocrisy and the mediocrity, and you understand that the only way you’re going to get through this thing is to laugh. Because all these other sons of bitches are taking it all too seriously! And this life is meant to be enjoyed. So if I need colour and synthetic hair or acrylic nails or flared pants or a high-heeled shoe, then so be it! That’s the only way I can sustain myself in this hideous, horrendous, mediocre world.
Dolly on drag:
I always said if I hadn’t been a woman I would have been a drag queen. I was not born a natural beauty, nor was Ru, but I think we’re both beautiful in our own way.
RuPaul on subversion:
The most subversive thing I can think of is the fact that I’ve done all of this outside of the grid, outside of the status quo. I mean, drag is the most punk-rock thing that you can do, because it reminds culture to not take itself too seriously. Like I said earlier, I can’t stand pretentiousness, and drag says, ‘Woohoo, today I’m this, today I’m this.’ It’s about not being married to the image it says I am on my driver’s license. Fuck that, I can be whatever the hell I want to be. That’s why drag will never be mainstream, because it’s the opposite of mainstream.
Dolly on her gay fans:
I love my fans, no matter who they are. I have so many gay and lesbian fans, and they accept me because I accept them. They’ve known all through the years that I’ve talked about not being accepted myself because of who I am and how I look. I’ve been crucified and persecuted for the things I believe in, and (for the way I) stand up for how I was brought up and who I am. I just never let anybody kick me down. And I don’t think they should, either – we all have a right to be ourselves, we have a right to love who we love, we are all God’s children, he made us all in his image. I think we’re not supposed to pass judgment on that sort of thing. So my heart is open and full of love, and I would just say, ‘You just be true to you and do your thing, and be proud of yourself.’
You can read the whole article HERE.