“I’ve been told that I’m too dark, too nappy, too femme to be considered beautiful.”

Shea Couleé gagged the children with her bejewelled body suit on last week’s All Stars 5 runway, with fans – and fellow Drag Race stars – hailing it as one of the most iconic and sickening lewks in the show’s HERstory.

Shortly after her well-deserved maxi-challenge win in the episode – and her triumphant lip sync against Alyssa Edwards – the legendary entertainter took to social media to reveal the deeper meaning behind the runway.

Inspired by Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus but “BLACK”, Shea said the concept took a “long time” to come to fruition.

“I’ve been told that I’m too dark, too nappy, too femme to be considered beautiful. That’s why I wanted to fully embrace black beauty in this runway presentation. I also wanted to focus on my roots,” she explained.

Shea also shared a photoshoot with the lewk, where she can be seen on a scallop shell while surrounded by her fellow Maison Couleé house members, Kenzie Couleé, Bambi Banks Couleé, Baby Couleé and Khloe Couleé.

Before All Stars 5 premiered earlier this month, Shea said she struggled to celebrate her return to the series due to the numerous protests that have erupted across the world in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.


“When I left to film All Stars 5 a year ago, the world was a completely different place,” she said in a statement.

Despite this, Shea is confident that the “successful black stories” on Drag Race will continue to inspire queer people of colour. She concluded her statement with the most epic tribute to her season nine entrance line:

“My name is Shea Couleé, and I didn’t come to play I came to dismantle white supremacy, defund the police, return power and resources back to the people, uplift and amplify black voices, and get that crown.”

The star became the frontrunner for the crown and the coveted spot in the Drag Race Hall of Fame for her performance on last week’s challenge, where she became the first ever contestant to win $20,000 doollahz for a lip sync.

Following Ongina and Derrick Barry’s eliminations, the remaining competitors on Drag Race All Stars 5 are Shea, Alexis Mateo, Blair St. Clair, India Ferrha, Jujubee, Mariah, Mayhem Miller and Miz Cracker.

On this week’s episode, the queens will dive into the world of celebrity branding as they design their boutique hotel experiences, with special guest judges Nicole Byer and design guru Martyn Lawrence Bullard.

The first two episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 5 are now available to stream in the UK on Netflix.

Related: Ongina issues statement following the events of Drag Race All Stars 5.