In a world where 301 lashes, cinched waistlines, and contoured chests have become the norm for drag, Yvie Oddly’s Drag Race win is metamorphic. She didn’t just bring new looks to each week of Season 11, she introduced eccentric characters with individual stories and always presented her unique perspective with confidence. Most importantly, Yvie made mistakes, she owned them, and she still won the crown. Imperfection dominated Season 11, and thanks to Yvie, her fellow imperfect queens can rest assured that they’re winners too.
Yvie’s victory is particularly significant because she took the crown over Brooke Lynn Hytes, the poised and polished Canadian ballerina. There’s no doubt that Brooke’s every move on Drag Race was executed flawlessly, but unfortunately, that precision overshadowed the person behind the drag. And according to Yvie, that’s what the judges — and the Drag Race fandom — want to see.
"It’s entertaining to see drag queens, but they want to see a person underneath that," Yvie tells Bustle. "So the more you give them to relate to, the better. And I just think that means in the future, we’ll be seeing a lot more realistic, human drag queens who are open about their struggles and willing to try and fight past them."
Yvie was definitely one of Season 11’s most vulnerable and candid queens. Even if it got her in trouble at times, she was always open about her feelings, both physical and emotional. She was the first person to call her sisters out on their bullsh*t (Silky’s unkempt padding, Vanjie rejecting the judges’ critiques), but she was also the one who most often teared up during confessionals and let her emotions shine through.
"Ru always says that her favorite thing about Drag Race is that it’s just really a show about the tenacity of the human condition," Yvie says. "And that’s why I’m ultimately really happy with my run. I did have a lot of bumps in my road, whether that be my own body falling apart, my inability to perform while at the Snatch Game, or how I interacted with my peers. At the end of the day, I didn’t let any of those things become my biggest downfall. I still kept fighting. I kept fighting those voices in your head that tell you you aren’t good enough, that you don’t deserve this."
Instead of trying to cover them up, Yvie embraced her flaws and let them drive her. And she was happy to do so if it meant showing up for queens — and people — like her. "I’ve just always wanted to keep people entertained more than I’ve cared about perfection," she says. "My room is a mess, my wallet is a mess, everything is a mess with me … [but] we’ve got plenty of representation for all the right-brained people who have like, a case for every makeup brush and know exactly what eye shadow color is going where. And I don’t think that’s bad, but I also feel like there should be some voice out there for the people who are scraping along, the people who don’t have all of their sh*t together. That’s what I stand for."
Ru and the judges proved they weren’t resistant to unconventional drag when they gave Monét X Change the crown she was robbed of during Season 10 on All Stars 4. Now, Yvie’s win has officially solidified a new beginning for Drag Race seasons to come.
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