What Is Received Pronunciation?

If you are a non-Brit, chances are when you imagine a British accent you’re thinking of a crisp, clean, regal and very intelligent sounding lilt: think the Queen of England or BBC reporters. What you might not know is that what you’re imaging is a very specific — and, in fact, somewhat rare — accent called Received Pronunciation.

It goes by other names, too: The Queen’s English, BBC English, Oxford English — and the sound of this accent is instantly recognizable to Brits and non-Brits alike due to its exactness. It’s important to make the distinction between an accent and a dialect: in the UK, there are many dialects as well as accents, but Received Pronunciation (or RP) is not a dialect. A dialect suggests the geographic region of the speaker whereas an accent, particularly RP, is associated with a person’s location within the social hierarchy.

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Bedlam: The Real Horror Story Asylum

If you were to visit the Bethlem Royal Hospital circa the 15th Century, it would look like a scene out of American Horror Story. Bethlem was the only institution in Europe that handled society’s “rejects”–namely the mentally or criminally ill–for the vast majority of European history. It did not, however, treat patients with a kind and affirming hand. Quite the opposite happened: patients were subjected to horrendous cruelty, experimentation, neglect and humiliation — all of which was entirely socially acceptable up until the 20th century.

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Inside The Colorful World Of Drag

Drag Profile Closeup

Source: WordPress

In any society, peculiar institutions tend to grow up that only have relevance—or make any sense at all—within the context of that society. The unique subculture of Drag, for example, came out of the sexual revolution of the 1960s and ’70s, and it developed so rapidly into its own little universe—with its own rules and taboos, customs and conventions—that even somebody born just a generation earlier would have a hard time understanding it. What began as men dressing in women’s clothing, partly as a sexual kink and partly as an expression of personal identity, has morphed into a full-scale community which, despite its deep links to gay and transsexual cultures, is distinct and independent from either.

Modern Drag (dibs on the magazine name) is largely centered around live stage performances in which men dress as outrageous caricatures of women and lip-synch Lil’ Kim for what are sometimes huge audiences. The audience members, and the performers they’ve come to cheer for, may be gay, straight, or bisexual. They may identify as men, women, or mind-your-own-business. Some performers are doing it for the money, some for the fame, and still others because a team of horses couldn’t stop them from doing it. They are, in other words, Drag queens.

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Drag Profile Closeup

Source: Img Kid

Drag Profile Vintage

Like most subcultures which suddenly become visible, Drag has deep roots. The kind of cross-dressing practiced in the 19th century seems mostly to have been a personal matter, though stage performances were being enjoyed by the end of the century. Source: On Se Croyait Chic

Drag Profile Dark Dress

Most of the time, these burlesques were intended for humorous effect or as incidental elements in a larger performance. Drag, as a unique genre of performing arts, only really developed somewhat after the demise of Vaudeville. Still, pretty dress. Source: Pinterest

Drag Profile Julian Elting

Julian Elting was a gigantic Vaudeville star and one of the few such performers to make the breakthrough into silent films. Here he is in the 1910 film An Adventuress, expressing the hidden desire to choke out an enemy while wearing an elegant silk number with lace at the collar. Source: The Julian Elting Project

Drag Profile Elting

Source: People Check

Drag Profile Makeup Test

No discussion of Drag can go far before Divine comes up. The liberated spirit the world knew as Divine was born Harris Glenn Milstead, in Baltimore of all places, in 1945. As a kid, Glenn was lucky enough to have the corrupting influence of a close friendship with John Waters, who reportedly gave him the name he'd be known by for the rest of his life. Source: The Back Lot

Drag Profile Pink Flamingos

Before Divine mugged the underground film scene in the 1960s and '70s, Drag queens almost always tried to pass as totally convincing women. Drag was essentially a live-action female impersonation. Divine dragged that out and shot it. Huge in every way, Divine practically invented modern Drag by tearing her character loose from "realism" and cooking up a persona which was clearly intended to be a loud, brash, raunchy man in makeup and an evening gown. Nobody ever mistook Divine for a woman, nor were they supposed to. Drag had arrived in the modern age. Source: The Daily Beast

Divine Mens Clothes

By all accounts, Glenn was a gentle and loving person offstage. This picture, by the way, was taken by Andy Warhol; that's how relevant Divine was. Source: Daily Mail

Drag Profile Chick Fil A

He's still relevant. Here's a mural with Chick-fil-A's president rendered in Divine's makeup as a political protest. Source: Ash Vegas

Drag Profile Hairspray

Glenn and John at the premiere of their breakout hit Hairspray. Three weeks after this picture, Glenn was dead from an enlarged heart. Source: The Baltimore Sun

Drag Profile Catsuit

Another pioneer in Drag is RuPaul, seen here wearing a small quantity of body paint in lieu of clothes. Source: The Huffington Post

Drag Profile RuPaul

RuPaul helped put the nail in the lid of "female impersonation" by going right over the top and declaring: "I do not impersonate females! How many women do you know who wear seven-inch heels, four-foot wigs, and skintight dresses?" Source: Us Magazine

Drag Profile Festival Winners

Much of Drag's appeal is in the crafting of a special persona, behind which normally inhibited performers can go completely overboard with extravagant costumes, makeup, and stage antics. This has fueled an ever-spiraling race to the top of Fabulous Mountain, which hasn't stopped yet. Source: Drag Queens Of The World

Drag Profile Flag

Source: Img Kid

Drag Profile Piano

Source: Dragaholic

Drag Profile Drunk Drag

Drag has its own aesthetic, in which the most beautiful thing you can be is a brash alcoholic with an attitude and a smart mouth. Here, Mary Edith Pitts verbally abuses an audience full of people who paid for tickets. Source: YouTube

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