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TikTok Drag Star Plastique Tiara on Vietnamese Heritage (EXCLUSIVE)

“It fully modified my life. I turned, I suppose, the RuGirl with the [largest] social media following,” Plastique mentioned of her TikTok fame.

Bianca Piazza - Author
Headshot of drag performer and TikTok star Plastique Tiara
Supply: JONCE

Again in 2019, a 21-year-old Plastique Tiara entered the RuPaul’s Drag Race Werk Room serving us “the three P’s: Polished, persistent, and p-ssy.” Fellow Season 11 contestant Vanessa Vanjie Mateo (aka Miss Vanjie) mentioned it herself, it is no Instagram filter, she actually is beautiful. However the drag queen — whose authorized identify is Duc Tran Nguyen — is not only a fairly face, she’s a fierce competitor with a watch for design, a thoughts for advertising and marketing, and a lovable character.

Although Plastique positioned eighth on Season 11, she left an enduring impression, bringing parts of her Vietnamese heritage to our residing rooms.

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“It wasn’t till after season 11 — or on the finale of Season 11 — that I spotted that how a lot my historical past and my heritage means to me,” Plastique — who was born in Vietnam — solely instructed Distractify over Zoom. “Afterwards, I needed to include as a lot of my tradition into my drag as a lot as potential.”

Plastique makes use of TikTok to showcase her vibrant Vietnamese heritage and Asian popular culture (together with anime); an authenticity that has helped her amass over 11.6 million followers.

Promotional photo of 'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars' Season 9 contestant Plastique Tiara
Supply: rupaulsdragrace/Instagram

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It was her 2020 “Wipe It Down” problem video that originally had social media speaking. As of this writing, the gag-worthy transformation TikTok has been seen over 90 million occasions.

“When my video went viral, I actually simply went balls to the wall,” she instructed us. “It fully modified my life. I turned, I suppose, the RuGirl with the [largest] social media following, I did offers that I assumed I might by no means do, after which I traveled the world,” Plastique continued, making an attempt to remain modest.

Beginning on Might 17, 2024, Plastique Tiara will compete for the crown as soon as once more — this time for a great trigger — as a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 9. If she earns a spot within the Drag Race Corridor of Fame this time round, $200,000 will go to the charity of her selection: The Asian American Basis.

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Forward of the season premiere — airing throughout Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month — we solely spoke to Plastique about how Vietnamese tradition, artwork, and artists have influenced her drag persona, and the significance of illustration in media.

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Plastique Tiara on honoring her Vietnamese heritage: “I bought a lot love from folks in Vietnam.”

Plastique, a first-generation American immigrant, relocated to Dallas, Texas, as a teen, having spent most of her childhood in Vietnam. She knew little of the magic of the queer group earlier than arriving on the Southern metropolis. She caught the drag bug when she gained a expertise contest at a Dallas homosexual bar, as per Shiny.

“At Station 4 in Dallas!” she clarified to us.

However Plastique’s love of efficiency stems from her Vietnamese roots.

“I’ve all the time listened to Vietnamese music rising up, and seeing all of the theatrical Vietnamese performs, that was my first gateway into efficiency,” she defined. “I carried out the songs that I cherished in Vietnamese after which slowly however certainly, I found there are such a lot of proficient designers in Vietnam that I needed to work with.”

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Moreover, she shared that connecting with Vietnamese LGBTQ+ photographers and artistic administrators turned simple after showing on Season 11. “From there it simply blossomed.”

After we requested if there was anybody one that roused the start of the Plastique Tiara persona, she immediately lit up, naming Vietnamese singer Minh Tuyết.

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“Oh my god, I speak about her a lot. She’s gonna file a restraining order in opposition to me,” Plastique joked. “I really like her to items, I grew up watching her. … She’s just like the Mariah Carey of Vietnam.”

We prompted Plastique to the touch on what the response has been like since bringing Vietnamese tradition and trend to TikTok, the Drag Race stage, and the Individuals’s Selection Awards.

“After Drag Race [Season 11], for a bit of bit, throughout COVID and every thing, I sort of misplaced a way of objective,” she relayed. “It wasn’t till I traveled to Vietnam and I bought to expertise firsthand the impression of illustration on TV. As a result of when you see somebody of your colour and so they really feel the way in which you’re feeling, and that hasn’t been expressed on TV but, and that individual is doing it in actual time, it offers you — it validates every thing that you’re as a human. … I see that there’s progress and what I am doing is sweet.”

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The intention, artistry, and dedication to representing and honoring her background has even earned the respect of her dad and mom … lastly.

“Drag has modified my life. So now my dad and mom are coming round to it as effectively. They’re like, ‘Oh, we’re so happy with you.'”

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Plastique Tiara on seeing AAPI RuGirls Sasha Colby and Nymphia Wind win again to again: “I am so happy with each of them.”

The RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 15 and Season 16 winners, Sasha Colby and Nymphia Wind, respectively, each proudly entwine their AAPI backgrounds into their drag. Whereas Sasha Colby, born in Hawaii, is the primary native Hawaiian queen to win American Drag Race, Nymphia Wind, born in Taiwan, is the primary East Asian queen to win American Drag Race.

“About time!” Plastique mentioned of her Drag Race sisters.

“To see them getting the love they deserve and them representing us so fiercely, I really feel nothing greater than delight,” she gushed. “I hope to proceed that legacy.”

As for Plastique’s closing notes concerning AAPI Heritage Month, she inspired everybody to “go on the market and provides an Asian individual $5 or one thing.”

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 9 premieres on Friday, Might 17, 2024, on Paramount Plus.

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