When asked to name a woman of class, dignity and poise, who have helped shape me into the woman I am today, there are many amazing role models that come to mind. I am going to tell you about a born leader and pioneer; someone who’s skills in stilettoes would put Heidi Klum to shame. The greatest part about this woman is that she isn’t a woman at all. That has never stopped her from putting on her party dress and making a difference in our community. That woman is the fabulous Miss Estella Sweet.
I consider it a privilege to call her a friend. She is an inspiration for the local LGBT community and is an activist and crusader for equality in every sense of the word. For those unfamiliar with her, Estella started performing in drag in 2006 at Twist Night Club. She was inspired by her drag sister Vivica Von Peters, one of the original NEPA drag legends of our generation.
In 2008, Estella was asked to perform at the inaugural NEPA Pride Fest, and the following year was the event emcee. In 2011 she was crowned Miss Gay Pennsylvania United States at Large and went on to compete for the national title in Washington DC.
Most recently, Estella was crowned Miss 12 Penny Saloon 2014. Now that Twist has closed, Estella has been working with The Woodlands, The Factory: Underground, 12 Penny Saloon, The Venture Lounge and the newest addition to our community, Heat, to help promote equality and spread awareness.
Estella is one of my role models, and I was curious who some of hers are. She mentioned Madonna and P!nk, just to name a few. She also credits Vivica Von Peters for showing her the ropes (and heels) and introducing her to the amazing world of drag. She also credits her mother for helping her to grow into the strong woman she is today. As a single mom, she did everything to be a strong female presence in her life. Ultimately, she made Estella into the powerhouse she is today.
Being out on the bar scene as often as I am, I see a lot of hot messes in the make-up department. Since Estella is always a ten when it comes to her make-up I asked her for a few pointers for our girls on the town.
Her three tips are:
1. The way you look in a mirror up close, isn’t necessarily how people will see you.
2. When choosing makeup, price means nothing.
3. Find what works for you. Your makeup should make you feel confident. It’s all about attitude. Don’t let anyone talk you into a shade or style that makes you self-conscious.
So thank you for the girl talk Estella! If you’d like to learn more about her, you can check out her website at www.EstellaSweet.com.