Rating: 2.75 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

 

Kita Mean is the more confident, more colorful, more well-known alter ego of Nick Nash. She is a drag queen made world famous first through her own internet drag competition with partner Anita Wigliit, Kita and Anita’s Drag War, and then for her run on Ru Paul’s Drag Race Down Under, winning the first season. In this memoir, Kita talks about growing up, getting into drag, and the many and myriad ways in which Kita Mean took the world by storm.

Drag queens are, by their nature … forces of nature. They’re loud and proud, with personality for days. It’s an art form that takes a great deal of commitment, not just in the clothes and cosmetics, but in the ability to perform and put on a show. Kita Mean was one of only 10 queens chosen by Ru Paul to star on the premier of Drag Race Down Under (and one of three New Zealanders) and, I have to say, I expected a little more out of this book. This memoir reads more like a press release than anything else, a colorful and shallow glossing over of Nick’s childhood with a blithe, light wave of a hand. The early days of drag are equally light, with many effusive comments from Kita over how effortless, how splendid, and how amazing she was from day one at charming a crowd, speaking funny quips, lip syncing, and dancing. Kita was a star from the beginning, outdoing other drag queens in every regard! But don’t go into this expecting quips, or jokes, or scathing reads. Also, don’t expect much personal introspection on any facet of Nick/Kita’s life. Life in Lashes feels like it has two real purposes. One is to twitch the curtain ever so slightly and give readers a brief glimpse at what it was like to be a contestant on Drag Race Down Under. The second is to show Kita Mean as a wonderful, perfect, flawless creature. All shine, all polish.

I am a long time fan of Drag Race. I have watched all of the American seasons, as well as the UK, Canada, Spain, and yes, Down Under versions. I was ready to be entertained by this memoir, to get to know more about the life of a drag queen who has worked so hard and done so much for her community. Instead, it felt like I was reading a sales pitch to let me know how absolutely perfect Kita Mean is at everything. As a sales pitch, it’s impressive, it’s slick, and it lists so many accomplishments without actually talking about those accomplishments. I had no sense of who Kita Mean was beyond a product.

So much of the work Kita has obviously done was so ignored with the attention being, instead, on the end result that it made each accomplishment feel as though it was nothing more than a checkmark on a list, or a feather in Kita’s hat. I’m sorry. I wanted to like this book, I really did; I regret that I really didn’t.

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