Drag star finally tells the truth about doing plastic surgeries

RuPaul Charles has become the most famous drag queen in the US. He started out with nothing and worked his way up. These days, he boasts one of the most popular reality shows in the US, RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Life hasn’t always been easy for RuPaul, with him battling both himself and others in order to move forward. Now, he’s created an empire following careers in several entertainment fields, and his resulting net worth is truly staggering.

So how did he get to the point where he’s at today? Here’s all you need to know about RuPaul Charles – including the truth about his Botox injections.


RuPaul Charles was born on November 17, 1960 in San Diego California. When he was only seven years of age, his parents divorced and he was raised by his mother. All in all, it was quite a chaotic childhood.

RuPaul – early life

“My family life was tumultuous – crazy hillbilly people,” he said. “Navigating through that and keeping my equilibrium even as a child… I learned how to do that early on.”

RuPaul described himself as a “sissy boy”, but he didn’t “have any issues” in terms of being bullied by other kids. At a young age, he loved performing, initially to get the attention of his father, who preferred “the company of women.”

“It’s not an accident that eventually I became the prettiest of all the girls,” he said.

At the same time as Ru wanted to get his father’s attention through his performances, his mother had a different tactic entirely. As reported by Rolling Stone, mamma Charles used to douse her husband’s car in gasoline and taunt him with a book of matches.

“She was a bad b**ch,” RuPaul recalled. “Everyone in the neighborhood called her Mean Miss Charles, and I said, ‘No, she’s not mean, she’s just direct’.”

At the age of 15, RuPaul and his older sister relocated to Atlanta, Georgia. He went on to enroll at the Northside School of Performing Arts, but never graduated. It was here that he beginning experimenting by wearing his sister’s clothes.

Shutterstock/Featureflash Photo Agency

Even though he didn’t finish school, RuPaul laid the groundwork for his now successful career. After dropping out of school, he turned to selling used cars for money. By 21, however, he knew that he couldn’t continue with it.

First performances in Atlanta

At that point, he understood that it was his destiny to be famous – and he would do whatever it took to get there.

“I knew I had a personality, had something that I thought had value,” he told Rolling Stone. “I just didn’t know specifically what language or what venue it would be.”

RuPaul Charles started performing in the Atlanta area. He worked go-go dancing in nightclubs, MC’ing several events, as well as performing on public access television. At that point, he also founded his first band, called RuPaul and the U-Hauls.

“Drag sort of happened to us,” he told Oprah.

“It was very different from the kind I do now—it was punk rock, with combat boots and smeared lipstick. But I knew I had power in drag because of the reaction I got from people.”

To be famous, you have to put in a lot of work and dedication. No one gets famous by sleeping all day, and neither did RuPaul. He started acting in low-budget films. Though it didn’t help him climb the fame ladder, he never gave up. He even started to sell pictures of himself as postcards – certainly a creative way of getting your name out there.

In the mid-1980s, he felt that he couldn’t reach his dream of becoming famous by staying in Atlanta. He decided to move to New York City, where he slept on couches or down at the Hudson Pier for months.

“The Queen of New York”

“We couldn’t get arrested,” he wrote in his 1995 autobiography, Lettin’ It All Hang Out. “New Year’s Eve of 1987 I was working coat check at a party at the Hotel Amazon down at Rivington. And I thought, ‘Here I am, superstar RuPaul, working in coat check!'”

After a short stint in Los Angeles, where his life was pretty much “couch-surfing and career-less, amid long-standing habits of drinking and toking and weekly tripping, RuPaul decided to leave for New York City once again in 1989.

Things had changed in “The Big Apple”; on the gay scene, drag was hot. For RuPaul, this was amazing, and he started to get more and more work in the field.

He began working as a club dancer, with his performances flamboyant and spectacular. By the end of the decade, he was named “the Queen of New York.” .

“[Drag] was a great social commentary, and people responded to me in drag like I never experienced before,” he recalled.

Shutterstock/Eugene Powers

“I said, ‘O.K., now I’m ready to get real and go for broke,” RuPaul told the New York Times. He quit partying, upgraded his look to “cover-girl glam,” and recorded a music demo. The Times says he landed a record deal “within a year.”

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

In the early 1990s, RuPaul took the a leap into the music business, signing with Tommy Boy Records. He released his first album in 1993, reaching the top 50 on the pop charts with the hit single Supermodel (You Better Work). He even recorded a remake of Don’t Go Breaking My Heart with the one and only Sir Elton John – at this point, one could say that RuPaul Charles had finally made it.

After all his hard work, he was famous, but his success story had just begun. For a year he had his own talkshow, The RuPaul Show, and soon moved back to the West Coast.

As per a New York Times report, RuPaul decided to slow things down a bit, “hosting barbecues in his West Hollywood home and getting to know his nieces and nephews.”

The stigma surrounding drag has always been there. But in 2009, RuPaul made a new career move that would propel drag into the next era. The reality television competition show RuPaul’s Drag Race premiered. RuPaul himself acts as a host, judge and mentor in a bid to find “America’s next drag superstar”.

Drag has previously been described as something performed by “society’s outsiders.” Even though RuPaul Charles has won a staggering 24 Emmy awards for the show, as well as entertaining millions of people, RuPaul’s Drag Race also serves a higher purpose.

According to RuPaul himself, it also showcases a different side to people, as well as a culture that’s important for everyone to understand. That’s perhaps the only way drag can hope to break the stigma surrounding it.

“Drag takes it to the next level”

“I think it has broken through with many people, but in terms of the critical mass, it’s still not really broken through, and it can’t break through, because it would require the critical mass to look at themselves with X-ray eyes, and understand who they are beyond what it says on their driver’s license,” RuPaul told Time.

“And that is a tall order for the critical mass. Most people have no idea that there is a consciousness beyond the thoughts that they think. And drag is the physical embodiment of understanding who we really are. And who we really are is, for lack of a better term, God experiencing humanity, God experiencing life in human form and having fun with it.

“Drag takes it to the next level, which is — Oh, I can do whatever I want? Yeah, you can! Most people think, Oh, I have to choose one thing and stick with it forever.”

The show has now aired for 13 seasons, and it’s safe to say RuPaul and his contestants entertain their audiences in each and every episode.

Shutterstock/Silvia Elizabeth Pangaro

But though RuPaul is now a celebrity in the highest echelon, he doesn’t want to become mainstream – neither does he think drag will ever be.

RuPaul on Botox and plastic surgery

“I’ve never been on Ellen or David Letterman or The Tonight Show, and there’s a reason for that, which I don’t want to go into, but there’s a reason that I’ve never been thought of as someone who can go on there,” he told Vulture. “Because it makes those hosts feel very, very uncomfortable, especially if we really talked.

“It would be the opposite of what they’re used to. So am I part of the mainstream? No. People know my name, people know what I look like, but am I invited to the party? No, and there’s a reason for it.”

For several years, there’s been a feisty debate about botox and plastic surgery. In the age of social media and filters, one can pretty much change everything at the click of a button.

That said, it’s also become very common for people to undergo simple procedures in order to fix things like their nose, lips, cheeks, or virtually any other part of their bodies.

RuPaul Charles has been surrounded by rumors concerning plastic surgeries, as well as botox. Speaking with the Daily Telegraph, he finally revealed the extent to which he’s altered his appearance.

RuPaul admitted that he actually did some Botox on the first episode of his show, though he has never undergone plastic surgery.

Shutterstock/Kathy Hutchins

“Wear and tear does have a go at you,” he said. “I’ve had fillers and Botox and I’ve had my teeth redone and electrolysis and lasers but I’ve never been cut. I’m not opposed to it, if I ever had a break from work, I’d go under the knife and I’d have my face lifted.”

“A beautiful experience”

As the same time, he’s not worried about the reactions of others.

“I don’t because I am a kind person,” RuPaul said. “I’m a very sensitive person, I come from a place where I was always singled out as a kid, not bullied, but people always had something to say about me or what I was doing. I danced to the beat of my own drum and I have always applauded anyone who did that.”

RuPaul also explained to The Cut that RuPaul’s Drag Race “celebrates plastic surgery.” At one point, he was actually inside an operating room while someone received a face-lift.

RuPaul is seen in Midtown on December 14, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)

“I sat right next to him,” he told The Cut. “It was fascinating and I had nothing but love for women on the table. I got to see where the human spirit met with the human body. It was such a beautiful experience, witnessing that place where it all happens.

“Our whole objective with the show is to guide people in the direction that is most helpful when it comes to taking care of their body. We live longer as humans today. No one has shame about putting on a new roof or rotating their tires. Somehow, in our Christian-Judeo background, we have shame about vanity.”

RuPaul Charles fought his way to the top, and his journey is certainly inspiring. It’s also amazing that he’s been able to fight stigma against drag in such a wonderful way.

Please, share this article on Facebook if you have watched RuPaul’s Drag Race!