Are you watching Queer Eye? No? Maybe? It’s in your Netflix queue…and you promise you I’ll get to it… one day?
Well, get watching it. Queer Eye is fantastic and everyone should invest their time in this show.
For those who have never watched an episode, the premise is quite simple: A team of guys – collectively known as the ‘Fab Five’ – perform a makeover on one person, who has been nominated to take part in the show. Each member of the team brings something different to the table (fashion, food, lifestyle etc) and by the end of each episode, the team deliver a makeover steeped in advice that can truly enrich a person’s life.
Put simply, this isn’t a show about quick fixes.
When first approaching Queer Eye, way back during Season One, I was a bit dubious, as I thought it would be another half-arsed reality show which is all sheen and no substance. I also thought it was likely to be a programme in which five gay guys try to remake a straight guy in their image.
I could not have been more wrong.
First and foremost, Queer Eye is not a vapid, hollow reality series which has nothing to say – in fact it has plenty to say. Throughout the course of the series, Queer Eye has touched upon racial tensions, including a talk about the Black Lives Matter movement; it has focused on religion and how blind faith can create divisions amongst a country (and the world); it has presented a love story between a divorced husband and wife; and it has highlighted the importance of family – whatever that family may be.
Perhaps one of the biggest eye-openers came during the Season One episode Dega Don’t, when the team were tasked with providing a makeover for a Trump-supporting chief of police in Winder, Georgia. Going into the episode there were a whole bunch of preconceptions about what this guy was going to be like, based on who he supports, but all those preconceptions were blown out of the water by episode’s end.
The episode demonstrated, quite clearly, that different viewpoints can exist. Dialogue is always key and talking and listening can easily break down barriers between people from different walks of life.
The second, and just as equally important aspect of the show is the makeover itself. Queer Eye is not (and I repeat NOT) a show where gay guys repackage straight men in their image. The team who work on this show, take their knowledge, their experience and their know-how to enhance what a person already has to offer.
The team understand that everyone is different and everyone has individual needs – this isn’t a cookie cutter kind of show – so when they dish out advice, they do it in a mindful way. Sure, the makeovers often include the provision of expensive furniture and designer clothes, not something the average Joe can afford, but that’s merely to start them off – the real gold comes from the tips they leave behind which help the makeovers continue on whatever budget is available.
It’s simple solutions which are offered up throughout the show, which demonstrate that this is about providing a makeover for life, not just for the purposes of entertainment. It’s about changing viewpoints, opening up new opportunities and presenting a fresh way of thinking.
The third strength of Queer Eye is the way in which everyone who takes part in the show is receptive to change – this isn’t a show where people argue or are dismissive for dramatic effect. This is a show where positivity is important; where shining a light on what doesn’t work can lead to new beginnings; and where change can be small but impactful.
Just watching Queer Eye makes me think about the way I see the world and all the different viewpoints that are offered up. I struggle with change, I work best with routine, and I don’t always listen to advice – Queer Eye is the type of show which makes me reconsider my approach.
Does watching the show make me a new person? No, of course not. However, watching it is a positive experience that highlights we can all be better with a little help.
As noted in the episode The Renaissance of Remington: “I think we all might be a little stuck.”
Amen to that!
Perhaps with more shows like Queer Eye, we can see how simple and happy life can be if we can find a way to become unstuck. And who doesn’t want to be happy and unstuck?
Queer Eye is available to stream on Netflix. Give it a watch – for me.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post about Queer Eye on It’s A Stampede! For more posts, check out one of the recommended reads below.
- Love, Simon: Representation and me
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- Revisiting She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Season One