Childhood & Early Life
Aquaria was born Giovanni Palandrani, on February 12, 1996, in West Chester, Pennsylvania, into a middle-class family. Aquaria grew up in a liberal household in the suburbs, where the society was extremely conservative.
Unlike other children, she did not have interest in playing sports. When she was in primary school, she sometimes experimented with her sisters’ and mother’s makeup by putting it on herself. She also watched many ‘YouTube’ videos of other boys doing the same things. At that time, she was unaware that she could make a career out of her interest.
Her first memories of a seeing a man doing drag was that of Josh Petrilude, who was seen putting on ‘MAC’ products in videos, taking on a drag persona named ‘Misty Maven.’ Giovanni watched Josh on ‘YouTube’ and felt confident about doing the same thing.
When she entered middle school, she discovered more about the concept of drag. Apart from putting on a concealer to hide his acne, she did not use a lot of makeup. When she talked about it to her parents, they were fine with it and promised to support her in whatever she wanted to do.
She also took dance classes around the same time and continued them for 4 years. She also became acquainted with ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ and began aspiring to appear on the show.
She started experimenting with drag during her high-school years. She put up videos on various social-media platforms and gained a small audience.
She came in touch with Miss Needles, a drag queen, who later became her mentor.
Following her high-school graduation, Giovanni enrolled at the ‘Fashion Institute of Technology’ in New York. She was still too young to attend drag shows. Thus, she made a fake ID to enter clubs. She adopted the stage name “Aquaria” and started her drag career soon.
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Still in college, Aquaria performed her first show, at a local club called ‘Boots and Saddle,’ located in West Village, New York City. She had to open for Yuhua Hamasaki and performed twice. The experience was good enough. Slowly, her social-media fan base, too, grew. She also came in touch with many popular drag queens.
She received invitations to perform with drag queens such as Schwa de Vivre and Alexis Michelle. She earned a full-time job at ‘Chelsea Hotspot Cafeteria’ in New York and bought a place for herself. She was making good money, and her social-media presence was also growing.
She had already dropped out of the college after a year and was spending all her time doing small jobs, searching for contacts, and performing at events.
She also got in touch with drag queens such as Miss Queen Sateen. Through her, she found a way to prosper in her career. She was eventually invited by LadyFag to attend a ‘Fashion Week’ after-party. More offers came, and by the time she was in her late teenage years, she had started doing many drag shows, gaining immense name and fame.
To prepare herself for a successful future, Aquaria learned the tricks of the trade from Miss Needles, whom she considered to be her “drag mother.” She started preparing for her life-long dream of appearing on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race.’
In 2018, she was declared as one of the participants in the tenth season of the popular show ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race.’ She had tried to participate earlier, but the show’s policy stated that no contestant should be under 21 years of age.
After coming of age, Aquaria auditioned for a spot on the show. She was selected after the first audition. There were 14 contestants on the show, and Aquaria never appeared in the bottom two. She performed well consistently, eventually becoming one of the ultimate fan favorites.
She also became the first contender in the show’s history to win the ball and “snatch game” in the same season. She eventually reached the final three and was announced as the show’s winner by the end of June 2018.
Appearing on the show had resulted in a great surge in her popularity, and her social-media fan base grew further. She was even honored with a nomination for the ‘People’s Choice Award’ for the ‘Competition Contestant of 2018.’
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Following her appearance on the show, she got several modeling offers. In the second half of 2018, she appeared in commercials for brands such as ‘Moschino.’ She also modeled for ‘H&M’s November 2018 ‘Capsule Collection.’ She was further signed by ‘IMG Models,’ one of the premier modeling agencies in the US.
She has also been working as an entertainment editor at ‘Dazed.’
In 2019, she was announced as a model for ‘MAC’s ‘Viva Glam’ campaign.
She was also invited to walk the red carpet at the 2019 ‘Met Gala.’ Hence, she became the first drag queen ever to walk on the ‘Met Gala’ red carpet.
She has also experimented with music from time to time. During the final challenge of ‘Drag Race,’ she joined hands with four other contestants to come up with their verses for RuPaul’s song ‘American.’ The song became popular and was featured at the 12th spot on the ‘Billboard Dance/Electronic Songs’ chart.
In June 2018, Aquaria released her debut single, ‘Burn Rubber,’ which was written by Jesse Saint John.
Family & Personal Life
Aquaria currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, as an openly gay man.
In May 2018, rapper Travis Scott received a lot of criticism from Aquaria when he removed a transgender woman named Amanda Lepore from the cover of his album ‘Astroworld.’
Aquaria’s romantic life remains a secret.