Under the Influence: Pan Pan Narkprasert
Under The Influence asks entrepreneurs quick-fire questions to learn more about the people behind the business news headlines.
Click on Pangina Heals’ Instagram page at your peril. As the co-host of RuPaul’s spin-off Drag Race Thailand, she has become Southeast Asia’s most famous drag queen—and has created a social media presence as gorgeously glittery as you’d expect. This includes photo-ops with Mariah Carey and a run-down of her intricately impressive beauty preparations, as well as pictures of her LGBT activism and the incredible drag makeovers she has done on her father and grandmother. If you’re still scrolling an hour later, don’t blame us.
Here, Pan Pan Narkprasert—Pangina’s given name—talks to us about everything that inspired her (mostly Lady Gaga and the Little Mermaid) and why the key to happiness is not caring what other people think. Unfortunately for you, some of Narkprasert’s best answers were completely unpublishable—but we can assure you they were very, very funny.
What’s the most important thing in life?
To be happy, to love what you do, to make sure you don’t die with regret, to inspire other people and ensure you leave someone’s day better. I guess that’s more than one!
My media guilty pleasure is…
I love watching series about female murderers. I find it so satisfying to get into the mind of killers and understand what pushes people to do something like that. It’s so insane and I have no concept of how you can be driven to such heights of violence—and I guess that’s the point of TV and books, to get in the head of someone else.
What do you do to relax?
I go to the onsen and get a massage or have a glass of really good red wine.
If I had an extra hour in my day, I would…
Get my nails done every day.
What advice would you give your ten-year-old self?
Give less f***s. The older you get the more you realise how little it matters what other people think. It’s all in your head anyway because people are mainly thinking about themselves.
In ten years I want to be…
I would like to own my own bar and keep doing what I love there, and maybe parlay this into more of a talk show. But if in 10 years I’m doing exactly what I’m doing now, then that’s all good. I’m very happy.
Who did you idolise growing up?
So many women. Mariah Carey, Wonder Woman, Judy Garland, Lady Gaga, my mother, Beyoncé, Miss Piggy, My Little Pony and Ariel from The Little Mermaid.
And who do you idolise now?
Bianca del Rio, an American drag queen, and all of the above.
Where do you seek inspiration?
Music, quotes, experiences in life, colours and fashion.
What’s your most treasured possession?
The RuPaul Award statuette, in gold. Very few people have them and I feel privileged to have one in my home.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
If it’s a sexy dream, then definitely Jude Law. Plus Emma Bunton from the Spice Girls and Wonder Woman—it’s an intimate dinner party for four, that way I’m definitely next to Jude.
What’s the most important thing your parents ever taught you?
In life, do what makes you happy and the money will come after that. You’ve got to do what you love first, otherwise you’ll be on a miserable quest to get rich.
Being a unique individual is a privilege. Who wants to be the same as everyone else?
— Pan Pan Narkprasert
What’s the most inspiring thing anyone’s ever said to you?
One is ‘What people think about you is none of your business’. It’s so liberating. The other is, ‘You have the right to say no and the right to curate your life’.
I love this quote…
‘No pain, no gain’. It applies to life, love, plastic surgery and everything else.
The secret to success is…
Don’t give up ever, even when you really want to—because the day you give up is the day before you become successful.
Don’t let anyone ever tell you…
Being a unique individual isn’t anything other than a privilege. Who wants to be the same as everyone else?
What do you want to be remembered for?
For being a great entertainer, an LGBT activist, a glamazon and a great human.
Apart from family, what or who is the greatest love of your life?
What was the first job you ever had?
Painting someone while they were completely nude. Seriously, it was such a sketchy situation. I was an artist and this guy just said, ‘Come draw me, you’re a young student, I’ll pay you’. I was fine in the end, but it was super weird.
What was the worst job you ever had?
Er, the nude guy, for sure.
What’s your phone/computer wallpaper?
I picture of me from an Elle Men shoot. Who says self-love is a bad thing?
Favourite film of all time…
I’ve got so many. One is Forrest Gump because it teaches you so much about how being different is something special and being naïve isn’t a bad thing. I love how Forrest remained pure despite everything. In a way it’s very religious. Chicago is, in my opinion, the best musical ever made into film. And My Best Friend’s Wedding because it’s every girl’s classic.
Favourite band of all time…
For sure the Spice Girls. Baby Spice is my favourite, but I love all of them. You shouldn’t really have a favourite Spice, as they definitely come as a package.
Favourite TV show of all time…
Sex and The City. God, I love that show. I used to be a Samantha now I’ve morphed into a Charlotte. It’s really blissful being Charlotte; I feel so healthy and wholesome.