Plastique Tiara: Gen-Z Name Defining Beauty

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

Born in Vietnam, Plastique, 23-years-old, is well aware that hers is not the typical immigrant success story. But, she said, that's one of the reasons her fans are drawn to her. In frequent messages from them, They say [things like], Thank you for being you', or Hearing your story about your family and how you overcame all that really helped me', she said.

By 16, Plastique was living in Dallas and would put on makeup in the boy's bathroom before school, washing it off before being picked up. Television provided a window into the glamorous world of modeling and, later, drag. I was fascinated with America's Next Top Model' and RuPaul's Drag Race', Plastique said. But it wasn't until she entered a talent show at a gay bar in Dallas, on a whim, that she started doing drag herself. Somehow, one night, I was brave enough to do a talent contest. And I won on my first night. she said. So that put a little pep in my step.

Eventually, at 21-years-old, she auditioned for RuPaul's Drag Race. Somehow I got on, she said. When it aired, my name was in the spotlight. It was pretty crazy, considering I didn't [make it far on the show]. Season 11, on which Plastique Tiara placed eighth, aired in 2019.

Of course, to do drag, one needs a high level of skill in the beauty department, and unsurprisingly, when you're attracting Plastique's level of attention, brands come calling. I am very surprised and grateful for the brands that have contacted and worked with me, because I never thought they would want somebody like this, to represent their brand, she said. Today, her collaborators include MAC Cosmetics, Anastasia Beverly Hills and Amazon Prime.

Her content has resonated, as has her incorporation of pointed commentary about gender norms and race. When conceiving her content, she aims to differentiate herself by asking what makes it Plastique. In other words, she wants to, Make it glam, make it drag, make it gay, make it queer, she said.

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