Ah, platform boots and drag queens. A love story as timeless as peanut butter and jelly, or that meme of a woman yelling at a cat. In the glamorous world of drag, these boots are the unsung heroes, making sure our beloved queens always stand tall (quite literally). Let’s dive deep into the footnotes (pun intended) of history to understand this ageless, elevated love affair.
The Shoe Must Go On: A Brief History of Platforms
Before we strut into the drag-verse, a little sole-searching of the platform’s origin is essential. Platforms or ‘chopines’ as they were called, have been around since the 15th century. But trust us, these weren’t just your average medieval Crocs. They were designed for Venetian women to protect their feet from mud or street litter, but soon became a status symbol. The higher the platform, the wealthier and more influential you were considered. Sound familiar, drag aficionados?
Fast forward to the hedonistic 70s, platforms found their way to the mainstream via glam rockers like David Bowie and Elton John. Boots that added inches not just to height, but also to attitude, became all the rage.
Enter the Drag
Drag, as an art form, has roots that run deep and spread across cultures, from the Kabuki theater in Japan to Shakespearean plays. But it’s the 20th century where the paths of drag and platform boots decisively crossed.
1. The Elevated Persona: Drag isn’t just about putting on a dress; it’s about creating a larger-than-life persona. And what better way to elevate that persona than by literally elevating oneself?
2. All About That Visual Drama: Drag queens have always understood the impact of an entrance. Platforms, with their audacious, “look at me” vibe, guaranteed that all eyes were firmly on the queen making the entrance. As the saying goes, “If you’re not wearing platform heels, you’re not doing drag.”
3. Leg-ends Only: Platforms Boots have this unique ability to make legs look miles long. And let’s face it; if you’re going to impersonate divas like Cher or Tina Turner, those legs better be the star of the show!
The Queens and Their Boots: A Trip Down Memory Lane
1. Divine and Her Iconic Stomp: If you’ve seen John Waters’ “Pink Flamingos,” you know the power of Divine’s platform shoes. They were bold, outrageous, and campy—much like Divine herself.
2. RuPaul’s Runway: Our beloved Mama Ru has strutted, danced, and lip-synced for her life in countless platform boots. They’re an essential part of the RuPaul brand—a mixture of glamor, camp, and towering elegance.
3. Lady Bunny’s Towering Presence: Co-founder of the iconic Wigstock festival outfit, Lady Bunny’s entire presence is an ode to excess. Her hair? Sky-high. Her boots? Towering.
Why Platforms Matter in Drag Culture
Beyond the obvious aesthetic appeal, platforms in drag culture are a statement—a badge of honor, if you will. They symbolize the audacity to challenge societal norms, the courage to stand tall against discrimination, and a nod to those who’ve come before.
Platforms are a reminder of the history of drag queens as trailblazers. These brave souls, often from marginalized communities, have used their platform (pun absolutely intended) to champion LGBTQ rights, raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, and push boundaries in mainstream media.
To Conclude: A Step in the Right Direction
The connection between drag queens and platform boots isn’t just about fashion; it’s a reflection of the culture, history, and ethos of the drag community. So, the next time you witness a drag performance, remember you’re not just watching an artist. You’re witnessing a rich tapestry of history, culture, and yes, fabulous footwear. In the end, as we celebrate drag culture, with pride clothes and accessories, let’s give a round of applause for the unsung hero—the platform boot. Whether they’re 7-inch or a staggering 12-inch, they’ve been supporting our queens in every sense of the word, one elevated step at a time. And for that, darling, they deserve a standing ovation. Or at least, a well-earned foot massage.