Probably my favorite exit interview this season was Mariah Balenciaga. Mainly because, we really didn’t get to learn much about her. There were a few clips from the workroom where we saw a little of her softer side and heard a few things about where she had come from. But to have her walk me through the ballroom subculture and then explain about not just growing up gay in the south but also biracial, I came away with a deep respect for this queen.
Since then I’ve learned more about this Atlanta diva and want to be her best shopping buddy. My first meeting in the flesh was at Carmen Carrera’s birthday party. However, I didn’t meet Mariah, I met Elijah. He’s tall, slender, graceful and adorable with those big round glasses. When you speak with him; he is attentive, passionate and expects you to pay attention becuase he has things to say that deserve you listening to. Elijah gives really great hugs. His laughter is contagious and her smiles a lot. I came away feeling warm all over.
Two nights later, I sat down with Miss Mariah herself. First, when she enters a room, her grace and style draw attention like honey attracts a bear (later I learned she loves her some bears). This queen is downright stunning.
Her outfit for the press event was an homage to “Black Swan”. In a corset covered in black and white feathers, a black tulle tutu over black beaded booty shorts and a small feathered headpiece, the only thing missing were pointe shoes. I asked her about that. She said she could never walk in them. She does much better on five inch heels.
Sitting right next to this beauty and comparing her to the boy I’d met days earlier, I grew a whole new respect for the art of drag. The amount of work that goes into these creations is unbelievable. And it’s not just clothes, make-up and hair. It’s the complete change in body movement and personality. Mariah is a southern lady with a naughty little twist. Mariah laughed and encouraged me when I related a story of being kissed by a random man at Carmen’s party who, at first, I though was Elijah till I saw his glasses were different. I think Elijah would have been more chivalrous and rescued me from my “attacker”.
I asked Mariah about putting her looks together. She says that she does design and execute some of them, like the one she was wearing. Others she depends on outside help. As for other arts she creates in along with all the ones that go into drag, Mariah likes to dance and thinks she wants to take lessons to improve her skills.
On the red carpet for the NewNowNext Awards, John Polly had asked some of the queens which member of the Pit Crew they would want to get with. Mariah said Shawn. So I asked her for the ‘t’. She said he has the ‘strong, silent type’ thing going on and because his fuzzy. She likes her little bear cubs. However, when it comes to something long term, she’s also looking for a house husband. We somehow got on the subject of baking where Mariah told me she doesn’t dig housework. She says that a man who has a more structured routine, bordering on OCD would work well with her.
Mariah is a night owl and doesn’t usually rise much before noon. She will do breakfasts of mimosas and crab cakes around three.
Since Drag Race, Mariah has been back in Atlanta catching up at her “real” job as a hairdresser. Reconnecting with her clients and putting in a lot of hours at the salon. She has also traveled to do some performances with other Drag Race competitors.
Life is good and she’s looking forward now to being a professor on the next round of Drag U. Trust me, this queen will totally school the real women in in southern belle with a side of fierce.
Mariah on Facebook