Who is Betty Bangles? Meet the man behind the mascara


Cape Town - Step aside, RuPaul! South Africa is getting its very own TV show about drag queens.

Betty Bangles en die dossers is the new must-see reality show on VIA (DStv 147).

See a promo here:

Bernard Buy aka Betty Bangles is a 37-year old hair stylist and make-up artist from Johannesburg.

Betty sat down for a quick Q&A about her career as a drag artist and what to expect from the show. 

Firstly, how did your career as a drag artist begin?

I’ve had a passion for acting and theatre since a young age. After matric I went to Pretoria and there I saw a drag show at a nightclub called Stardust. It was unbelievable and there and then I decided to live out my love of the stage with feathers and long, fake lashes!

Which divas have inspired your drag persona?

I wouldn’t say Betty Bangles’ appearance is inspired by anyone in particular but in my performances I love to make fun of Liza Minnelli, Julie Andrews and Sarah Brightman. 

How would you describe your drag aesthetic?

Very kitsch but very cool. Everything is bigger than it should be. In Betty’s case MORE is definitely more.

What can viewers expect from Betty Bangles en die dossers?

It’s something that’s never been on South African television. You will laugh and you might ever shed a tear or two.

Any funny behind-the-scenes moments you can share with us?

Believe me, if something funny happened – and there were a lot of those moments – we made sure it became part of the show. I was surprised to see moments on screen from when I thought the cameras weren’t rolling.

What do you hope to achieve with this TV show?

I hope we can show people that drag queens are not freaks. It’s a character they you play and it does not necessarily mean you want to be a woman.

Some people may be hesitant to watch a show like this. What is your message to them?

We tend shoot down things that are unknown or new before we’ve given it a chance. This show explains a lot of things that people wonder about in a fun way. If we understand each other better, the world will be a much better place.

What are the three qualities every good drag queen should possess?

It’s impossible to choose only three qualities! There are different types of drag queens and they all require different characteristics. But don’t worry: We explain everything on the show.

What’s a drag-queen beauty tip anyone can live by?

Hairspray isn’t just for your hair! If you’re planning a fun night out, spray hairspray on your make-up. You can polka around the dance floor 103 times and your make-up will still be perfect.
 
To contour or not to contour? And why?

Definitely contour! It does wonders for your face and can disguise any unwanted aspects on your face. Real women should just take it easy with a contour brush otherwise they end up looking like drag queens.

What will we always find in your handbag?

A fan, tissues for when my forehead gets wet and, of course, my cell phone with a selfie or six.

And what’s a drag-queen saying that deserves to be on everyone’s lips?

"If you can't love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?"

New episodes of Betty Bangles en die dossers air Friday nights at 21:00 on VIA (DStv channel 147).


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