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Drag Queens: There’s One in All of Us

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For photographer Leland Bobbé, there’s something intriguing about finding the hidden personalities in people. In this case, it’s discovering that every man has a feminine side, and some are just more open about showing it. When Beautylish stumbled upon Leland’s incredible photographs depicting guys in half-drag, half-natural makeup, we were entranced. Not only by the incredible skills that these drag queens have, (each queen photographed did her own makeup) but by Leland’s statement. “I think all men have a feminine side, but for most men it’s internalized. Drag queens express their feminine side on the outside, which makes it much more obvious.” The art of transformation is a powerful skill to harness, and for drag queens, it’s the ultimate tool. The photographer worked for months stylizing over 30 portraits, and spent hours scouring the net for suitable subjects. “I would look through different profiles on Facebook and spent hours viewing and contacting them,” said Leland. The process was entirely collaborative, with the queens discussing hair and makeup options with Leland in the studio before shooting.

Initially inspired by his Neo-Burlesque portfolio—a series of shots showing burlesque dancers in incredible costume—Leland’s half-drag portraits are so visually stimulating and inspiring that it had the Beautylish team discussing for hours. There’s nothing we love more than seeing how far makeup can go!