I didn’t watch Queer Eye For The Straight Guy in the early 2000’s, but I’ve been binging on Netflix’s reboot. And I think every man–gay, straight, or anywhere in between–should too. Why? Because you should. Trust me. Five gay men, each with a special superpower like some 90’s cartoon, swoop in to transform the look and lives of below-average-joe; how can you go wrong? This is entertainment.
But, if that doesn’t do it for you, here are three other fabulous reasons.
It’s Not Just A Makeover
Queer Eye is about a lifestyle promoting healthy masculinity through individuality, vulnerability, and authenticity. Whether the Fab 5 is working with the guy shooting back Hillbilly Margueritas, pickle juice, or chalky Almond Milk, the mission at heart is all the same: help a person be a better version of themselves.
For one man, this meant hosting a party for the first time in a decade. For another man, it meant coming out to his step-mom. And still, for another, it meant teaching his children responsibility through a system of daily chores.
Every client has admitted to a greater confidence and a stronger sense of freedom after their home is cleaned and redecorated, they’re taught how to eat healthier, their worldview is expanded, and they’re immaculately groomed and redressed.
But It Is A Makeover
“It’s not vain; it’s self-care,” says Jonathon, the show’s expert Groomer. And he’s right. There is a line between vanity and basic self-care that many men are nowhere near (See my post, Look Good, Feel Good, Focus On The Fabric That Matters Most).
Though it’s different for each of us depending on personal attributes and preference, no matter how gay or straight you are, every person should learn how to care for themselves because self-care is not an issue of sexuality but of humanity. Find clothes that fit, take an extra few minutes getting ready in the morning, pamper yourself, lotion, shave, trim the bush, get a haircut, lose weight–whatever it is for you, personal maintenance can do wonders for your romantic endeavors, confidence, and self-esteem.
These days, we have a lot of real men hiding behind boys’ scraggly beards and unfitting clothes. Care for yourself. Better the internal by means of the external.
And It Is So Much More Than A Makeover
Never before in history’s recent memory, has the political divide been so extreme. And it’s not just in politics. Gay or straight, black or white, black or blue, Christian or non-Christian, Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, Transgender or cisgender, Yanny or Laurel, Patriots or Eagles, it seems we’re all building walls faster than we can tear them down.
Meanwhile, Queer Eye does an incredible job of representing both sides of a fence while demonstrating the universal impact of a respectful and listening ear.
“Everybody wants to talk but nobody wants to listen,” the clearance-rack white cop told Karamo Brown, the show’s culture guru, and only black man, after a meaningful conversation about unjust policing. Together, they recognized unity is not about everyone having the same style, goals, orientation, or worldview–it’s about having an open heart for other people and a respectful ear. Black and blue, gay and Christian, or something else, this is a priceless theme throughout the show.
Every person, no matter how confident, fashionable or receptive they are, can afford to open their ears, hearts, and minds enough to let others into their lives. We each deserve to see ourselves and others as the humans we all are.
You are a human so, please, take care of yourself. But, your gay, straight, black, blue, white, liberal, conservative, transgender (etc.) neighbor is a human too–open the door.
If you can appreciate these concepts but you don’t know where to start chipping away at old habits and narrow thinking, start with watching Queer Eye–culture’s pioneer for healthy masculinity, personal health, and societal wellness.