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An ode to Mistress Isabelle Brooks: The old school queen making Drag Race feel fresh again

She’s simply a blessing from the Gods of reality TV


I wish I could go back in time to when the Drag Race season 15 Meet The Queens dropped at the end of last year, so I could give myself a really good, hard smack. Why? For being so stupid. I will be the first to confess here that when I first clocked Mistress Isabelle Brooks, she was one of the queens on this season I was least excited for – I saw some old school drag and completely dismissed her like the fool I am. Fast forward to seven episodes in and here I am writing an ode to her, not just because I think she’s the best queen of the season, but because I think she’s the best queen to be cast into the franchise in the US in years. Here’s an ode to Mistress, the mother of Drag Race season 15 and the past, present and future of the show and of drag.

There’s no one keeping it more real

 

At first glance or on first assumption, you’d be forgiven for thinking Mistress Isabelle Brooks was a bitch. She’s quick witted, savage, suffers no fools and is immensely driven. But this is no mean spirited shady queen, she operates the Werk Room in a Bianca Del Riorian fashion – a mother to all who need it. She’s also quick to put her own prejudgements aside, when she shrugged off and voiced her nuisance with TikTok twins Sugar and Spice on week one she soon found love for them, eventually adopting them and becoming their drag mother.

This is one of the reasons why Mistress has so quickly evolved to fan fave status – she’s got the savagery we love on reality TV with a big heart to root for.

She’s unassuming, and wasn’t famous before at all

Not to take anything off the wonder of Sasha Colby, but when a queen like that is announced in the cast the hype swirls around them instantly. Sasha Colby deserves that hype, but it is euphoric when a queen like Mistress Isabelle Brooks who had two thousand Instagram followers before the season swoops in and makes a huge impact on the show and the fandom.

@roscoestavern

Not to take anything off the wonder of Sasha Colby, but when a queen like that is announced in the cast the hype swirls around them instantly. Sasha Colby deserves that hype, but it is euphoric when a queen like Mistress Isabelle Brooks who had two thousand Instagram followers before the season swoops in and makes a huge impact on the show and the fandom.

@roscoestavern

♬ original sound – Roscoe’s Tavern

In a moving video from her appearance at Roscoe’s Taven, Mistress said the following which I thought was really lovely and profound, and just made me appreciate her even more: “Before I went to Drag Race I had like 2000 followers on Instagram. I did drag professionally in Houston, that was my full time career, but the Texas scene is very different. We don’t have RuPaul girls. It’s very different, very traditional.

“Getting the love on social media, I know it’s easy for people to think I get a lot of hate but I really get a lot of love and I really appreciate everyone that shows me all the love. Y’all mean the world to me, really. For me, the best part is not the likes and the comments it’s meeting every one of y’all in person and we get to meet and greet and share a moment in time. That’s what really matters to me. ”

Love her.

She will drag a bitch on the SPOT

Take this annihilation of Aura Mayari for instance, which Mistress said off the cuff on a Twitter Space after Aura said she didn’t vibe with MIB or Luxx:

“I find it funny that Aura said this because I’ve never had an interaction with Aura and Luxx never had a negative interaction with Aura. I find it funny that these girls who are clearly in a delusional state of mind, saying she’s trade of the season but she doesn’t want to show her muscles – I don’t know what storyline she’s sticking with this week. I don’t really know her, I truly don’t.

“But I don’t appreciate someone saying these things, especially because she only said that because she won that week when she was at Roscoe’s and she was feeling herself. I think she was assuming that because of our little thing on TV with Malaysia that people were not gonna like us. But the thing is when you’re a real bitch and you stand by what you say, little moments like that don’t mean shit. Me and Malaysia are laughing after watching the show, because guess what – it’s just a show.

“Girls like Aura don’t really know how that works, that’s why they blame people for not getting enough screen time or not getting a positive edit when really in real life they were not giving and they were not that girl. I’m just as confused as you are, but it will definitely be addressed.”

And she’s only 24 (!)

To me, as a long-time jaded Drag Race fan, queens like Mistress coming onto season 15 with the energy of an old school pro who’s only 24 years old is beyond refreshing. If I’m honest, and I know all drag is valid, but I’ve grown weary to the Instagram queens who have populated Drag Race to the max of recent – or the queens who come on the show already rich and pretty famous.

Mistress Isabelle Brooks is the kind of queen who made me fall in love with Drag Race in the first place – and having her on season 15 is making this series shine for me even if the queens are having their episodes cut to ribbons to make time for the WeHo devils who we shan’t speak of.

24 years old, and Mistress Isabelle Brooks is paving her own way through this season as a plus size queen who never compromises, never makes excuses and puts her fashion and talent where her mouth is. That’s mother, baby, let’s crown it.

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