By: Sari Cohen | HFLF Contributor
YouTube beauty guru, Patrick Starrr, recently teamed up with Jack Daniel’s for a visually enticing (and mouthwatering) virtual Pride Month campaign. “Drag Queen Mukbang” combines a drag brunch with mukbang (the online trend that highlights hosts eating full meals while engaging the audience in conversation). The web series brings together a lineup of popular drag queens with some delectable dishes.
Starrr kicked off “Drag Queen Mukbang” on June 20. The episode, presented by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, features the Filipino-American eating fried chicken and mixing a whiskey drink while discussing the impact of COVID-19 on the drag community. The four-part series also includes episodes with “The Try Guys” star Eugene Lee Yang and former “RuPaul’s Drag Race”contestants Gia Gunn and Laganja Estranja.
Starrr tells Hollywood First Look Features that partnering with Jack Daniel’s was something the beauty expert had wanted to do for years. Jack Daniel’s has been a longtime favorite, so when Starrr’s manager set things into motion, it seemed like the perfect fit. “She had surprised me with teaming up with Jack Daniel’s. It was just so organic to have that partnership come to life,” Starrr said over the phone.
Hollywood First Look Features: How was Pride Month different this year from past years?
Patrick Starrr: It’s been super different. It’s been totally immersed in regard to humanity, what we stand for, and fighting for justice. In the past, we only saw what would seem like many colors of the rainbow, but there are many more colors that we can add to the flag. I feel it was a culmination of Black Lives Matter and Pride; it was such a movement. I think the community was able to respect that, in tandem with what was going on at the beginning of the month.
HFLF: Your overall message is all about uplifting and inspiring others. How do you think people can use their platforms to uplift, inspire, and raise awareness about everything going on right now?
PS: By raising awareness for what we stand for, but also being authentic and being inspirational. I can only speak for myself, being a TV channel. I do makeup. I start conversation. I work with the biggest celebrities in the world, with the biggest beauty brands in the world. We’re in a multi-billion dollar industry, so if anything, in my industry, what we can do is have hope and parlay that on social. I think that camaraderie is the word, and kinship is the word, and also hope. We should be engaged. I mean, we have nowhere to go until this all goes away. We should show camaraderie and kinship with one another because that’s what we need, that’s what the world wants right now.
HFLF: Your episode of “Drag Queen Mukbang” was so awesome. Did you pick the meal? How did that work?
PS: The great thing about having a partnership with any brand is they let you be creative. Knowing that I was a big food lover, I wanted to create some southern comfort for social media. [We wanted] to do something that the majority of my fans love, and so we went with some good old Southern fried chicken and mashed potatoes, with all the fixins.
HFLF: What have been your favorite quarantine foods? Is there anything that you could recommend to people that’s easy to do at home or something that you love to make?
PS: Oh my gosh, I’ve been experimenting with breakfast. When I tell you, I was on a breakfast burrito kick; I really feel like I could start a Patrick Starrr breakfast burrito stand in L.A. It was so fun doing it like almost every day. I was Facetiming friends in the morning. It was my good morning call to talk to them. And they would always be like, ‘Oh, what, are you doing a burrito again?’ It’s the one thing that I think is so fun and easy to do in the morning.
HFLF: The way that Jack Daniel’s combined a drag brunch with mukbang was such a cool idea. Do you think that setup helped you express things in a way that maybe you wouldn’t usually express yourself?
PS: It’s so funny because if we think about being social and social outings, it’s always around food and food is such a comfort. You know, either it’s a dinner party, or we meet at a restaurant, or we go out to eat, or we grab ice cream. So, I think with the phenomenon of mukbang on YouTube and social media; it was only organic that food would break the ice and start conversation. And show a little bit of humility in people that may not know who we are, even to the Jack Daniel’s consumer. You know, here we are partnering with Jack Daniel’s, where the majority of the consumers are heterosexual. And so I think to partner with someone that isn’t primarily known to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community was so cool. I think through food, and through fashion, it’s a spectacle for the eye, to really engage the viewer and imagine we’re eating; I’m looking like a full-on drag queen with my lashes, eating some fried chicken. At the end of the day, we’re more alike than different. So, I think we were able to set up a beautiful stage for conversation for people to really see who we are and what we stand for.
HFLF: Your messages of hope and spreading love are everything that the world needs right now. Tell me about the great organizations that we should be getting behind and how each of us can make a difference from wherever we are in the world.
PS: First, it’s about finding what’s local to you. For me, my hometown in Florida, the LGBT+ Center in Orlando is so important; they have programming, they have testing, they’re pretty much refuge to the people around them. I know many states don’t have centers that are highly publicized around them, and many people don’t know where to go, where to look, where to turn. You know, for me at that time, it was a makeup counter, it was the mall, but especially for trans lives, it’s really watching and following these individuals in the ballroom scene in the LGBTQ centers around them, like in New York. I also love District Coalition in Tampa, Equality Florida, in Miami. I know the Trans Wellness Center in Los Angeles is a huge one that my friend, Nikita Dragun, partners with as well. It’s really exciting to be a brand and highlight these centers so people can understand where to look and where to turn. That way, we can create a safe haven for individuals.
HFLF: Lastly, is there anything else you want to add or any message that you want to leave with our readers?
PS: I have a mantra that “makeup is a one size fits all.” You know, people want to see what they want to see, but I want to challenge everyone to look past that. If they see a man in makeup or drag queen in makeup, that doesn’t define who we are. That is all encompassed in my statement that makeup is a one size fits all. I’ll leave you with that.
Published on HollywoodFirstLookFeatures.com.