Oxford, we need to get with the times. Not a day goes by without someone accusing us of being out of touch, elitist…the list goes on. We need to stop associating our colleges, hallowed places of education, with long deceased, predominantly white, predominantly male academics. It’s time to inject a little glamour into the dreaming spires, with a little help from mama Ru herself. For those who don’t know about RuPaul’s Drag Race (get watching immediately) – think America’s Next Top Model but with a whole host of fabulous drag queens competing for the crown. Every week, we’ll be deciding which iconic star from the reality series is the best match for your college. This week, it’s Balliol’s turn – finding its counterpoint in the always professional, and ancient (I mean, timeless), Chad Michaels!
Okay, so let’s get this one out of the way. Balliolites can’t seem to resist telling everyone and their Drag Mother that Balliol is potentially the oldest college in Oxford, with a long and distinguished history spanning over 700 years. Chad Michaels currently holds the crown as the oldest living winner of a series of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and affectionately holds the nickname of ‘Mother Dust’. Her distinguished history as the world’s foremost (male) Cher impersonator can’t be ignored, putting her on a par with Balliol for sheer renown.
If there’s one thing Chad prides herself on, it’s her professionalism, and her perfectionism. No really, she can’t go thirty minutes without mentioning one or the other. And sure, Balliol has its fair share of top professionals, counting amongst its many alumni, three former prime ministers, and the crème de la crème of the artistic and scientific world, from Aldous Huxley and Graham Greene, to Richard Dawkins. Balliol’s beautiful grounds are also a match for Chad’s perfect look, but it’s taken a lot of restoration and care to keep the college looking fresh and young. Chad has had to have a similar level of *ahem*, upkeep, to keep herself looking ‘timeless’. Hey, if you’re going to impersonate Cher, you need the silicone to match!
For all her professionalism, Miss Michaels still knows how to have a good time, and that’s something Balliolites can easily get behind her with. Known for their edgy underground bar, the only entirely student run bar left in Oxford, it’s at its best on a ‘Crazy Tuesday’, where you can treat yourself to 75p shots. Definitely showing the younger colleges how it’s done. Thanks Mother Dust.