I guess that when you work in something related to beauty and fashion and you make it to a magazine like Vogue you pretty much have established yourself as part of the pop culture landscape. I know that some people consider Vogue (and fashion magazines in general) as vacuous and very unreliable sources of actual culture, but I do think they have a point and a usefulness that sometimes escapes us.
Take Vogue and how they have decided to feature Valentina, one of the runaway success stories in RuPaul's Drag Race show and make it something that goes beyond the patina of beauty that covers the magazine. It's not the first time they have featured her. They already did something with Valentina when she was coming off her season in RuPaul's Drag Race:
But this time the video was published in Vogue Mexico & Latinoamerica and that signals a shift from the purely aesthetic (Valentina is the stunning drag persona of James Leyva) into something that I see as more... political? This time the publishing of a drag artist who's Mexican American and emphasizing her roots comes at a timely moment, given that the president of the US has been demonizing anything coming from south of the border as dangerous and fearsome and even threatening to close the border (a stupid stunt, like everything in this presidency) and that gives this video a new perspective.
Valentina, as Vogue puts it, it's living her fantasy. In this video she says 'es mejor no ser como los otros'. She credits her culture as an engine that has propelled her to be 'Latin excellence'. She emphasizes her pride of being Latin and Mexican. She comes across exactly as she describes the women who are her inspiration: strong, fearless, warm, kind and 'chignona'.
And I think that that adjective, 'chignona' more that anything is the kind of thing that the Cheeto administration has never expected. He has created a false narrative of a 'border emergency' to rile up his racist, xenophobic base. But Agolf Twitler and his racist minions (one less with the monstrous Krijsten Nielsen quitting her horrendous job) do not count on the strength of generations of immigrants, many of whom are right now watching this same video.
So Andale, Valentina! Incredible, that what can be seen as a makeup tutorial for me is a political statement. In the era of Cheetolini, one can read the Resistance anywhere.