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Parents' Guide to

RuPaul's Drag Race

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Drag queen contest is campy, fun, has positive messages.

TV Logo , VH1 Reality TV 2009
RuPaul's Drag Race Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 19 parent reviews

age 8+

Excellent Family Show

Drag Race is one of the few shows I watch with my kids (ages 13 and 10). It showcases an ancient art form and all the contestants know, understand, and acknowledge that they got to where they are by standing on the shoulders of those that came before. There is a reverence for previous generations of performers. They also openly discuss overcoming hardships and bigotry by forming new family structures. What could be more positive?? There is a lot of sexual innuendo that will fly right over the heads of anyone under 15. It’s a breath of fresh air away from violent content, which I personally don’t have the stomach for. Because the competition can get fierce, I do think it’s important to watch this show WITH children under 14 to help them make sense of the exact way the queens compete with one another. (As a queer person I can culturally contextualize this for them.) My children and I talk a lot about how editing creates characters and a storyline and doesn’t tell the whole story. Overall, the pure spectacle of it can’t be beat!
age 16+

Adults only

Drag Race is an entertaining show, no question about it. My issue is with the themes. There has never been a reality show that intertwined child activities with the adult sexual innuendo and tone that this does. It's also an inherently negative show, with it's biggest smiles always sharing the stage with a mean comment. When the contestants ask for help, the judges offer only sarcasm - how is this helpful? Anyway, I'd still recommend it for mature teens and adults.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (19 ):
Kids say (41 ):

This series combines the fashion design drama of Project Runway with the modeling excitement of America's Next Top Model. It creates an entertainingly voyeuristic glimpse into the performance art world of drag queens. There's plenty of over-the-top stuff, but rather than simply treating drag performers as people to be laughed at and/or scorned, the show also focuses on the hard work and talent that goes into drag performances.

RuPaul's Drag Raceisn't for everyone, and there's enough strong language, sexual innuendo, and over-the-top and behavior to make it an iffy choice for younger viewers. But it does offer some positive messages about overcoming adversity and about self-acceptance. In the end, the series' goal is to celebrate people who are willing to follow their passions and be true to themselves.

TV Details

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