I don't know any drag queens personally, but my one "don't miss" TV show is "RuPaul's Drag Race," and based on that, I would say the gay community portrays a big range of body types. Both episodes have had plus-size drag queens competing. Some of the drag queens "pad" to get a more womanly figure. (My favorite for the season, JuJuBee, would be one of them.) One drag queen interviewed said pointedly that she does not pad because that is not the "style" in LA, where the body ideal among drag queens is much thinner -- that girl claimed that padding is more common in the South & Midwest, where the "pageant girl" is the ideal. So I'm going guessing that the drag queen ideal -- and probably the larger gay ideal -- is influenced by cultural standards of a particular time & place just as much as the heterosexual community's beauty ideal is.
I think it's impossible to identify a single cause for the beauty standard. I don't think it's the media. I don't think it's the fashion industry. We are talking about a veritable stew of influences where all the various ingredients contribute to & also reflect the standard. It's the result of a vary large cultural conversation & it is always changing. We know that from fashion history & art. Scientists are even working on whether it's inherent & biological. The NY Times had an interesting article about congenitally blind men rating the beauty of mannequins based on running their hands over them. Such men would not have been exposed to any media or fashion industry influences, it was reasoned.
Last edited by saef; 04-20-2010 at 09:31 AM.