Michelle Visage is most famous for being a (some would say the) judge on her best friend’s show RuPaul’s Drag Race. If you don’t know what that show is, you’re probably not going to pick up this book, but for the uninitiated, RuPaul’s Drag Race (entering into its 9th season, with two spinoffs) is a reality tv competition to find America’s Next Drag Superstar. Think America’s Next Top Model, for Drag Queens.
The full title of this book is The Diva Rules: Ditch the Drama, Find Your Strength and Sparkle Your Way to the Top. It’s ostensibly a self-help book, something that I’ve never read before, and it offers a number of rules to help improve your life but what’s clever is that the book is actually a memoir. Each of the rules is illustrated with tales from her own life, which just happen to be in chronological order, much like a memoir. The second clever thing about this book, which may not seem it for fans of the show straight away, but there’s very little about Drag Race. We get the inside story (or in the lingo of the show, the T – or the Truth) about why she wasn’t on the first two seasons (her day job wouldn’t give her the leave) but by the time we get to that period in her life in the book, the book isn’t about that. It also, cleverly, leaves room for her to follow this up with a book about drag race.
So what does this book talk about? It talks about her life, starting with her youth, it then talks a lot about her first taste of fame in the girl group, Seduction, at the young age of 18/19, and her million-selling song with S.O.U.L. S. Y. S.T.E.M on the bestselling soundtrack of all time, from the movie The Bodyguard, but it also talks about her family, her husband, her friends and a lot about her true love; her radio career. She is a very grounded character who’s been through a lot, and this book was a fantastic light read, that still packed a lot of clever, grounded, useful life advice that were almost slipped in there since they sprung out of events from her life. A must for any fans of the show, and for those who don’t know the show but like self-help books, or find themselves currently needing a boost, or a pep-talk from a no-nonsense Diva.
You can reserve a copy online from South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.