Kim Petras on Her Full-Circle Moment With MAC Viva Glam


photography courtesy of MAC cosmetics

“Makeup has always been freedom to me,” the Grammy winner shares.

“It took one second to say yes to being part of Viva Glam,” says pop star Kim Petras. “I remember when I first saw RuPaul’s Viva Glam campaign, that really made me feel seen.” And in case you’re skeptical about the lasting effects of a makeup campaign, singer-songwriter Petras was two years old in 1994 when the inaugural Viva Glam campaign, starring RuPaul, came out, and a teenager when she first felt its significance. The staying power extends to more than just the Viva Glam lipsticks.

That significance is hard to quantify from an emotional and cultural perspective, but in dollars? It’s about $520 million. “Half a billion is such a huge achievement for a lipstick,” says Petras. Like MAC, Petras knows a thing or two about achievement. In 2023 she became the first openly transgender person to win a Grammy. Despite often being described as a trailblazer or carrying the mantle of “the first” as her career unfolds, Petras is quick to acknowledge the circumstances and support that made it possible to get here, like organizations that empower, advocate and fight for LGBTQ+ rights.

kim petras mac
photography courtesy of MAC cosmetics

In its 30 years, MAC’s Viva Glam lipstick campaigns have given 100 percent of the selling price to organizations that advocate for equality, including decades-long support for those impacted by HIV/AIDS. Now, in celebration of these impressive milestones, MAC has expanded its mission to support sexual, gender, racial, and environmental equality (alongside its continued HIV/AIDS support) and revamped its iconic lipstick with a new look and finish. It makes sense that with her own milestone achievements and commitment to equality — Petras mentions trans homelessness and youth support as specific causes she champions — the star has been tapped to kick off this next phase of the Viva Glam campaigns, with goals to reach a billion dollars.

kim petras mac
photography courtesy of MAC cosmetics

“It’s surreal seeing myself in the ads; it’s straight out of my childhood dreams,” Petras says. “It really feels like a big full-circle moment. Makeup has always been freedom to me; I would go to school in wild makeup and everyone would say, ‘You look crazy’, and I would respond, ‘I look beautiful’. The thing that has always really fascinated me about makeup is that there are no rules; what you find beautiful is real.”



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