I’ve spent the past few weeks obsessively watching RuPaul’s Drag Race for the first time ever because I’m an idiot who had never gotten into it before, and it only makes me appreciate PWR BTTM’s spin on drag even more. They take their cues from similar genderfuck queens — like contestants Alaska Thunderfuck 5000, Milk, and Sharon Needles — and create characters that are as fierce as they are fully-realized. Ben Hopkins is the only half of the duo to appear in the video for their new single “Ugly Cherries,” and he takes advantage of the screen time by putting himself opposite … well, himself, just not performing, showing the gap between on the stage and off, and how freeing and constricting both can be.
“I’ve set my ‘best self,’ aka me in crazy monster drag, against my ‘worst self,’ aka me miserably staring at my cellphone alone in my apartment, in an attempt to take stock of my whole self,” Hopkins explained to The FADER. “All of the behaviors within the video are my own, and in staging them side by side I’m trying to take ownership of the good, bad, weird, and fabulous parts of my personality.” Watch below.