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Racial tension emerges among Drag Race season 10 rivals

Racial tension emerges among Drag Race season 10 rivals

The Vixen

For anyone who’s been keeping up with RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10, the rivalry between Aquaria and The Vixen isn’t news. But things really heated up during the recent episode of Untucked on 5 April.

What went down?

Aquaria (a 21-year-old drag queen from Brooklyn) and The Vixen (a 26-year-old from Chicago) threw lots of shade at each other during the recent episode of Drag Race, titled Tap That App. It all started when Aquaria questioned The Vixen’s win on the runway theme of Very Best Drag the previous week.

The Vixen apparently borrowed the wig she wore on the runway from another queen. Aquaria took issue with this, claiming it was unfair because The Vixen didn’t bring that wig from home—so it couldn’t be her best drag.

The tension between the two queens reached its peak backstage during Untucked. While both The Vixen and Aquaria have attitudes that can rub people the wrong way, The Vixen brought up an important point—how black people are perceived versus their white counterparts.

Racial bias

A 2017 study found that people perceive black men as more threatening than white men.

‘[Researchers] conducted a series of experiments involving more than 950 online participants (all from the United States) in which people were shown a series of color photographs of white and black male faces of individuals who were all of equal height and weight. The participants were then asked to estimate the height, weight, strength and overall muscularity of the men pictured,’ American Psychological Association page of the study reads.

The results found were consistently biased.

‘Participants judged the black men to be larger, stronger and more muscular than the white men, even though they were actually the same size,’ said John Paul Wilson, PhD, of Montclair State University, who led the study.

‘Participants also believed that the black men were more capable of causing harm in a hypothetical altercation and, troublingly, that police would be more justified in using force to subdue them, even if the men were unarmed.’

This isn’t just the case with black men. Black women, too, are often perceived as more aggressive than white women.

Untucked

When The Vixen pointed all this out backstage, Aquaria burst into tears.

‘This right here is exactly what it is,’ The Vixen said, pointing to a crying Aquaria. ‘You say something, I say something, you start crying. You have creative a narrative that I am an angry black woman who scared off the white girl.’

‘So when you get super defensive and tell me that I’m negative when I’m just responding to what you brought to me, that will always read to these as a race issue,’ she continued, motioning to the other black queens.

‘The Vixen actually has a very good point,’ said Monét X Change, another black queen. ‘She’s being smart about how the optics of her personality will be perceived. People are going to judge The Vixen because Aquaria is crying. They’re going to completely overlook the fact that Aquaria came at her first.’

Watch the full interaction below:

Fan Reactions

Fans on Twitter, regardless of if they support The Vixen or Aquaria, seemed to agree with The Vixen’s point:

However, not all Drag Race fans on Twitter necessarily agreed: