This is drag royalty Chad Michaels — RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race winner and No. 1 Cher impersonator in 👏 the 👏 world 👏:
And this is me, Christian Zamora — mediocre at everything and No. 1 Britney impersonator in my bedroom:
Not fully knowing what she had to work with (🙋), Chad Michaels stopped by the BuzzFeed office to take on the daunting task of transforming a mere boy into a fierce drag queen. Here's what I learned during my transition from a boy to queen:
1. The preparation to wear drag is more complicated than you'd expect.
Anyone who knows Christian Zamora knows that I sport facial scruff all day, every day. A razor hadn't touched my face in over five years, so to say the least, going completely clean-shaven was quite the traumatic experience for me.
Here's my face in its full-blown scruff glory:
And here's the prepubescent face that emerged after I shaved:
Typically, queens remove every SINGLE strand of body hair (some dedicated queens go as far as shaving off their eyebrows). Luckily for me, Chad only required that I shave my face and chest. BLESSED.
2. Glue sticks are an ESSENTIAL part of a drag.
Gluing down her manbrows, literally with Elmer's glue, is typically the first step a queen takes to start her dragtastic transformation. This gluing process helps to control the queen's eyebrows so they can be easily covered with makeup.
3. Needless to say, thick eyebrows ARE NOT ideal for drag.
Because I have ~lusciously~ thick eyebrows, Chad had to scoop out and lather on the glue until my eyebrows were completely stuck to my face. I felt like I was the construction paper in a preschooler's art project.
Fierce brow problems, I suppose 💅.
4. Every drag queen "beats" her own face before applying makeup.
Once those eyebrows are tamed, the next step on a queen's journey is to "beat her face," aka cake her face with foundation. The purpose of the roughly 69 beaten layers of foundation is to cover up any scars and blemishes.
As Chad put it, "It's about setting up your canvas."
5. You have to look ugly before you look pretty.
There was a point in my transformation where I looked straight out of the Star Trek universe. My skin was prodded and shaped to remove any "flaws."
It wasn't the cutest moment of my life, but like whatever, pretty hurts.
6. You contour to erase the "man."
Although I DISAGREE, Chad compared my nose to Barbra Streisand's, so you better believe she thinned that out real quick. Drag is all about exaggeration of female beauty, so in a matter of moments, Chad "wiped away" all of the man and gave me a more feminine facial structure.
Tbh, my contoured cheekbones could've spread butter on your toast this morning.
7. The eyes are the window to your inner queen's soul.
A queen could have the locks of RuPaul and the contoured face of of a Kardashian, but with bad eye makeup and cheap lashes, her look could take a tragic turn. I went from Trekkie to young Liza Minnelli once Chad gave me a couple smoky eyes and upgraded my lashes.
Treat and love yourself with quality makeup and lashes, queens!
8. There are MANY ways to achieve those fierce drag eyebrows.
Because queens draw on their own eyebrows, there's a ton of room to fuck 'em up, so finding the right eyebrow technique for yourself is crucial. Typically, queens use pencils and creams to create their eyebrow look. Chad, however, uses wet powder.
Like the true queen she is, Chad completely freehanded my dramatically arched Michelle Visage brows. She first used a powder to get the basic shape of the brows down, then she went over them again with a wet paintbrush to obtain a darker shade of the same powder.
For once in my life, I finally had that resting "judging you" look I've always wanted.
9. Drag queens basically invented the Kylie Jenner lip.
Last but not least, I had to plump up those DSLs to complete my face. Chad overdrew my lips with liner, filled them in with a nude lipstick color, and then went over those puckers with a brush.
Bas'cally, if you want those luscious, fake Kylie Jenner lips, consult a drag queen — they've been doing it for DECADES. 💋
I puckered my lips at Chad as she said, "I never make a bitch look better than me, but you look all right." And just like that, my face was fully transformed into a Chad Michaels masterpiece.
10. You don't have to tuck every time you wear drag.
"Tucking," aka the process of hiding your ~man parts~ up inside your body, is a commonly performed and highly uncomfortable tactic used in the drag community. Luckily for me, Chad gave me three layers of tights to hide that bulge of mine. My balls actually shrieked in relief.
The first layer was just basic tights with footies, followed by a thicker layer of tights, followed by a layer of fishnets to complete the look.
I assume queens who don't feel like shaving their legs or want to give their nuts a little bit of a break go this route when wearing drag.
Side note: I had to slide some some hip inserts in between the first and second layer, because my hips don't lie and they totally belong to a man.
11. Confidence and personality while wearing drag is a must.
Before I made my ~fabulous~ reveal to the entire office, I knew I had to create my own drag persona, starting with a name.
"You're completely putting yourself on the line when you're in drag," Chad said as she put the final touches to my wig. "They're either going to love you or they're going to hate you, but the most important part is having fun."
As Chad applied a finishing touch of lip gloss to my lips, my drag name came to me: Val Dicktorian.
Bio: Val Dicktorian is one leggy, confident bitch. Although growing up as a bottom feeder, she graduated at the top of her class. But don't get it twisted — just because she can read you like a textbook, Val is fluid in street smarts.
Even though she knows firsthand that "D's get degrees," girl has straight A's: Ass 👏 Ass 👏 Ass 👏
12. Wearing drag was the most empowering experience of my life.
As I walked down the stairs to introduce Val to my excited co-workers, I felt unexpected empowerment.
Born and raised in the Mormon faith, I suppressed my sexuality until college. Like most LGBT youths, my greatest fear growing up was to be "outed." From my mannerisms to the pronunciation of every word that came out of my mouth, I was constantly censoring myself to prevent my sexuality from being discovered.
Although I've been out for over four years now, I'm still learning to be comfortable with my sexuality. Oddly enough, there's just as much pressure in the gay community to act masculine as there was in my conservative religion growing up.
For the first time in my life, wearing drag gave me the freedom to act entirely how I wanted without feeling the need to please any societal norms.
I guess this newfound confidence has always been in me, it just had be dragged out. As Mama Ru would say, "You're born naked, the rest is drag."