RuPaul Doll Project (2015)

I remember getting into an argument with my mom when I was about eight years old. I wanted to buy a Barbie doll. I must’ve seen a girl in school playing with her and of course, I wanted it too. (Funny how I looked at the boys in school playing with their robots and trucks and never really wanted any of those. But I did love Lego.)

My first Barbie doll had auburn hair and freckles. I loved her so much. But one time, when I was brushing her hair, I broke her neck peg and her head came off. My grandpa tried to fix it but to no avail. She ended up looking like Casey, Newt’s doll from Aliens. And just like Casey, I eventually lost her.

Fast forward to 2015. I was fresh out of my MFA and just moved from Berkeley to Los Angeles. RuPaul’s Drag Race was still an obsession and I needed to build my photography portfolio. I went on eBay and bought this used RuPaul’s doll by Jason Wu/Integrity Toys. Her original body (seen in the pink picture) had limited articulation, so I replaced it with a used Fashion Royalty body.

I wanted to showcase RuPaul Doll in various costumes worn by real people and fictional characters.

And I’m just going to put it on record: working with her was such a blast. She didn’t talk much (or at all), she could definitely hold a pose (although she did fall down more than a few times), and she was just such a doll to work with.