Drag's Back: Trends From Queens Hit the Mainstream

Her one-woman show, "Jackie Beat Is a Whole Lotta Love," ran to rave reviews in New York City. In fact, each year, she puts on a holiday show in the Big Apple. Between you and me, she puts the Rockettes to shame.

Los Angeles-based, I got to see her at Here, a club on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood. Her stand-up comedy has been featured on Comedy Central, VH-1 and MTV. Beat has written for the CW series "Hype!" and for the Sci-Fi channel on several shows. She and I even share a credit in common. We're top cops for UsWeekly's Fashion Police.

Drag Goes Mainstream

Makeup trends, fashion trends, dancing trends. You may not know it, but many of them originate in the wee hours of the morning in, yes, drag clubs. One of the newest and most gratuitous trends of them all, having a personal umbrella holder, has been hot with drag queens for some time now.

Sean "Diddy" Combs started it all with his ingenious wingman, Fonzworth. A couple years later, this has apparently ceased to be ludicrous and become a statement of being in the "in" crowd. At this year's Fashion Week tents, a drag queen exited a black Suburban with a PUH (personal umbrella holder) by her side. Anna Wintour did the same. Clearly, if Wintour is doing it, this is a real fashion statement. She is, after all, the queen bee of fashionistas the world over.

Speaking of the world over, one of Pakistan's biggest stars is in drag. Begum Nawazish Ali is the host of Pakistan's popular talk show "Late Night Show with Begum Nawazish Ali."

She is a stylish, middle-age, socialite widow of an army colonel, of all things. Her monologues are laced with sexual innuendo and probing questions about her guests' personal lives. Visitors have included Pakistan's urban elite, film and television stars, and even politicians. She's managed to break many taboos in conservative Pakistan through her "character." But a drag queen by any other name … is still a drag queen. And countries like Pakistan are embracing the trend. Begum Nawazish is, indeed, a man.

You know drag has become mainstream when it's a part of Fashion Week. Take the Heatherette — club kids Richie Rich & Traver Rains are the men behind the fun party label — kickoff fashion show in 2005 in New York City.

Drag queens ruled the runway. Models are routinely primped within a trace of their lives for fashion shows, so one can only imagine how much primping it takes when drag queens are the models.

At least we have them to give us ideas. And that's something Jackie Beat gives us in spades — whether in her dressing room or on the stage. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

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