Legendary Star Gravity Jacobs Calls Out Drag Race For Mockery Of Voguing
Legendary's Gravity Jacobs Calls Out Drag Race For Mockery Of Voguing
"It's incredibly disheartening that, despite several mainstream and modern depictions of ballroom coming out, RPDR remains committed to active misinformation and historicization of the scene."
After seeing a glimpse of tonight's brand-new episode, some folks from the ballroom scene aren't too happy with RuPaul's Drag Race and claim the show is making a mockery out of voguing.
A sneak preview of Drag Race season 15 episode 11 went live on YouTube earlier this week. In it, RuPaul announces a Harlem Vogue Ball where he's looking for "popping, dipping, and spinning, shablam!"
The category is "I'm so into voguing right now," referencing Vanessa Hudgens' infamous quote from the judges' panel on All Stars 3. The queens... do their best, but their technique is clearly not taken too seriously. Instead, the drag stars are more focused on being silly and having fun.
But not all Drag Race fans enjoyed the ballroom homage. Gravity Balmain Jacobs, who competed in the first season of the now-canceled HBO Max competition series Legendary, spoke out against this mini challenge on season 15.
"Call me a hater all you want but the 'voguing' mini challenge in tomorrow's Drag Race episode is probably the most egregious and blatant example of the show's unrelenting efforts to bastardize and make a mockery of vogue and ballroom," they wrote on Instagram. "From terminology to technique to framing. It's incredibly disheartening that, despite several mainstream and modern depictions of ballroom coming out, RuPaul's Drag Race remains committed to active misinformation and historicization of the scene."
In their Instagram Story, Jacobs elaborated that it "goes without saying that this is not primarily targeted towards the queens competing but rather towards the powers that be."
The post currently has over 11,000 likes and many comments from folks in agreement. "No cause when I saw that and the terminology Ru was using, I was like ????'" reads one. "I just don’t get why ballroom folks haven’t been invited as guest judges and special guests? Like u take their shiii and then don’t wanna ki with them," said another.
One drag artist named Caligula shared detailed thoughts on the matter. "As a drag artist who also participates in the art of voguing and ballroom, it's frustrating to see the show treat voguing like it's some little trendy dance that you can add to your routine. There is so much more to voguing and ballroom than the moves; there's a confidence behind it, there's a story behind it, there's a history behind it. It should be taken seriously. When not given the honor and respect it deserves on what is arguably the biggest exposure of queerness there is on mainstream TV, it gets misrepresented and misinterpreted by so many people. Even in clubs during drag shows certain queens will call it a death drop or just flail their arms and treat it like a joke. It makes me cringe. Drag Race (and also some drag artists) need to take this art form – that isn't inherently theirs to begin with – seriously before it makes a challenge out of it."
The show is no stranger to critiques from folks in the ballroom scene, most recently from season nine and All Stars 3 contestant Aja, who has repeatedly called out Anetra for her now-viral "walk that f*cking duck" move.