Cover Image: Life in Lashes

Life in Lashes

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Member Reviews

I love watching Rupaul ‘s drag race so I was excited to read about Kita mean book . How she was first win of drag race down under the book tell a story about her life and how she got started in drag and about her life but the book was kind of boring and did like it’s so much.
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*ARC Review*

4.5 stars

Life in Lashes follows Kita Mean, a "Drag Race Down Under" winner. It is a lovely story from the start of young Kita's life through Drag Race and beyond. It is a long and twisty tale that is emotional, wild, and sometimes heartbreaking. It was fascinating to hear about the "tiny gay from Cockle Bay" and see them transform into the star they are today. 

I also LOVED reading about the Drag Race behind the scenes. As a massive fan of the show is was a real treat to get the tea directly from the source. It was so engaging and a must read. 

Kita Mean is only getting started and I cannot wait to see the fabulousness she shows the world!
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I should be reading Olivia Jones's "Ungeschminkt"—I've been making slow progress for well over a year—but you know what's easier than reading a drag-queen memoir in German? Reading a drag-queen memoir in English, that's what. Fortunately, Kita Mean is more than ready to step up and serve.

Kita Mean made an international name for herself with the first season of RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under, but in New Zealand she was already a force to be reckoned with—established in the New Zealand drag scene, running multiple drag and performance venues, and having hosted her own drag show with Anita Wigl'it. (I haven't seen House of Drag, but it sounds like a riot, and I loved learning that it embraced drag kings and AFAB as well as AMAB drag queens.) "Life in Lashes" slips easily from Kita Mean's early days in drag—which is to say, young Nick tromping around the backyard in his sister's dresses—to learning about the Auckland drag scene to becoming a celebrated performer in her own right to competing in Rupaul's Drag Race Down Under.

Drag queens are known for their wit as well as for their style, but don't underestimate Kita Mean's deft ability to "read" between the lines, too. Not a bad word to say about RuPaul—just a glowing note that never seeing RuPaul offset made her even more inaccessible and elevated. And there's a point early on where she describes her first encounter with a drag queen she calls Peena Colada in the book. It's Peena Colada who first *sees* Kita Mean—who notices her and puts the idea of performing into her head. I highlighted the section, because for a few pages at least it seemed like a wonderful illustration of how much of a difference feeling seen can make. But that relationship gets complicated, and not long thereafter Kita Mean describes meeting another queen—one determined to lift other performers up, not cut them down.'s not that Kita Mean is subtle in her opinions about Peena Colada. But the back-to-back introductions of Peena Colada (sweet at first, but no substance) and Tess Tickle (slow to warm up, but then a fierce supporter) are *so* telling, and a valuable reminder to anyone who might find themselves in a position of influence over someone younger—who do you want to be? The person knocking over another person's ladder, or the person helping to get that ladder securely in place?

A content note: there's a fair amount of what reads like internalized fatphobia. Kita Mean notes herself that, growing up big, it was easier/safer to be the first one to make jokes about weight, but it's something to be aware of if it's something you'd rather not read. And then a different kind of content note: I've watched a fair amount of Drag Race, but I haven't seen the Down Under version, and if possible, I'd recommend watching it before reading. You'll still be able to visualize the Drag Race situations Kita Mean describes without that background, but for obvious reasons you'll be able to visualize it better if you've, well, seen it already. Barring that, look for a compilation video of all her Drag Race looks after you read the book, and at the very least you'll get a more visceral sense of her style and energy.

Thanks to the author and publisher for providing a free review copy through NetGalley.
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Kita Mean I love you and this was amazing. 
As a huge drag race fan and loving every second of Drag Race Down Under when I saw this on NetGalley I needed it quickly! 

Other than what I had seen on Drag Race I knew next to nothing about Kita. It was a really amazing experience to learn more about her as a person and a performer! I felt like the writing was easy to read and had a lot of jokes. Kita brought the jokes people!! 

I think anyone who is a drag race fan should read this! 

4 stars!
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Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for this ARC. 

This was perfection in every way.  I’m a huge RuPaul Drag Race fan and on top of loving memoirs, I went into this with high hopes and it did not disappoint. Kita’s personality radiates through every single page and had me laughing out loud in spots and crying along with her in others. There’s no greater story ending then that of someone finding their true self, embracing it, and being happy.
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Kita Mean is the more confident, more colorful, more well-known alter ego of Nick Nash. She is a drag queen made world famous first through her own internet drag competition with partner Anita Wigliit, Kita and Anita’s Drag War, and then for her run on Ru Paul’s Drag Race Down Under, winning the first season. In this memoir, Kita talks about growing up, getting into drag, and the many and myriad ways in which Kita Mean took the world by storm.

Drag queens are, by their nature … forces of nature. They’re loud and proud, with personality for days. It’s an art form that takes a great deal of commitment, not just in the clothes and cosmetics, but in the ability to perform and put on a show. Kita Mean was one of only 10 queens chosen by Ru Paul to star on the premier of Drag Race Down Under (and one of three New Zealanders) and, I have to say, I expected a little more out of this book. This memoir reads more like a press release than anything else, a colorful and shallow glossing over of Nick’s childhood with a blithe, light wave of a hand. The early days of drag are equally light, with many effusive comments from Kita over how effortless, how splendid, and how amazing she was from day one at charming a crowd, speaking funny quips, lip syncing, and dancing. Kita was a star from the beginning, outdoing other drag queens in every regard! But don’t go into this expecting quips, or jokes, or scathing reads. Also, don’t expect much personal introspection on any facet of Nick/Kita’s life. Life in Lashes feels like it has two real purposes. One is to twitch the curtain ever so slightly and give readers a brief glimpse at what it was like to be a contestant on Drag Race Down Under. The second is to show Kita Mean as a wonderful, perfect, flawless creature. All shine, all polish.

I am a long time fan of Drag Race. I have watched all of the American seasons, as well as the UK, Canada, Spain, and yes, Down Under versions. I was ready to be entertained by this memoir, to get to know more about the life of a drag queen who has worked so hard and done so much for her community. Instead, it felt like I was reading a sales pitch to let me know how absolutely perfect Kita Mean is at everything. As a sales pitch, it’s impressive, it’s slick, and it lists so many accomplishments without actually talking about those accomplishments. I had no sense of who Kita Mean was beyond a product.

So much of the work Kita has obviously done was so ignored with the attention being, instead, on the end result that it made each accomplishment feel as though it was nothing more than a checkmark on a list, or a feather in Kita’s hat. I’m sorry. I wanted to like this book, I really did; I regret that I really didn’t.
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Kita Mean is the winner of one of the most controversial seasons or Rupaul’s Drag Race to ever exist (and there’s many many seasons). As an American fan of the show and it’s international iterations, I’m not as familiar with the history of the queens. Getting a look into Kita Mean and their foundation and life as a prominent Drag artist in New Zealand was a delight, with a lot of personal, hard to read bits that really hit home for me as a person who spent a lot of time as a “bigger” gay man. Sections about her body image, abusive relationship, and bullying within the community spoke to me deeply. She also isn’t afraid to give her full account of her days on Drag Race Down Under, and how her insecurities played out in the filming process. For anyone watching, it was clear as day Kita was the one to beat, though. It was fun and enlightening to see her professional and personal relationship with Anita Wig’lit especially, as Anita’s time on the show was cut unceremoniously short. Kita mean Is as charming on page as she is on screen, and this was a delight to read
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This ARC was provided to me via Kindle, from Harper360 and #NetGalley. Thank you for the opportunity to preview and review. Opinions expressed are completely my own. 

A lovely glimpse at their life, challenges and triumphs.
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Thank you NetGalley, Harper 360 and Kita Mean (with Eli Matthewson) for letting me read “Life in Lashes” in exchange for an honest review.

Oh the excitement!!! I am a big fan of Drag Race and have watched most seasons. Additionally I am a big fan of Australia and Australian TV. I watched Kita Mean’s season and she was awesome. So o had to read her book! So excited! 

I very rarely read autobiographies but this was excellent. 


I guess in most cases, we rarely know anything about a queen before the show, unless you are a Die hard fan or really into the scene. Speaking for myself, I didn’t know any queens before they appeared in the show. So this is a great way to get to know them better, that there is a life before the big franchise came along. 

I have such a huge appreciation for drag queens and anyone really, who lives their life truly being themselves. I admire their confide to truly stand for what they are and live it. 

It was lovely to get a glimpse of her life before and after Drag Race and also to get to know Nick. The writing was fluent and I laughed quite some time. But it radiated confidence and pride in what he is and what he does. That’s exactly what the world needs. People who are proud of who they are no matter what, people who overcome things and still come out strong and fierce. Yes henny!!!

I loved the photo section!i am so sorry but in all it’s glamour, the good dresses…. 😂 so horribly awesome! Love it! 

If you can’t live yourself how the hell are you going to love somebody else ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🖤🤍🤎
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This was fun glimpse in to Kita Mean's life before and after Drag Race Down Under. As an avid fan, this brought me closer to Kita and I enjoyed this!
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