Are You Watching Queer Eye?
Aside from the news, Queer Eye is honestly the only show you should be watching right now. The sensual billboards (those all around the Los Angeles metro area, anyway) are a bit misleading in regards to the show's premise. Regardless, I cannot rave enough about this reboot of the wildly popular 2003 reality show. The newest "Fab 5" is the embodiment of all things fabulous...so much so, you'll feel compelled to shout "YAAAAS KWEEN" right alongside each of them.
The history of Queer Eye, as I just mentioned, began over a decade ago with an unscripted, reality television series called Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It aired on Bravo for four years, and had a number of spin-offs in America, as well as Australia, Norway, Portugal and Sweden – to name a few. The premise of the show was to play up the stereotype that gay men are far superior in the worlds of fashion, beauty, design, health and culture than are straight men. Thus, a group of five fabulous "queer" men came together to make over a straight man who just had life get in their way. With the 2018 Netflix reboot, the directors did away with the secondary part of the title and just made it "Queer Eye." In our ever-changing world, I believe this decision is a conscientious nod towards the fact that straight and gay (queer, if you will) are unideal words to describe peoples' sexual orientation and actually furthers heteronormative stereotyping.
This modern take on a now-dated reality show still incorporates much of the original components. The men that make up the Fab 5 – aside from being effortlessly glam, creative and forward-thinking – all have different specialties that aid in "elevating" the man of the episode, whom they call "heroes," who is "struggs to func" (aka struggling to function).
Antoni Porowski, Food & Wine
Our first Fab 5-er is the beyond beautiful Antoni, Queer Eye's food and wine specialist. He consistently promotes healthy lifestyles and cooking with the finest of affordable ingredients. On a whole, Antoni makes it a point that capitalizing on a full and fulfilled life starts with a healthy and clean diet. Plus, because Antoni's "OCD comes in little bursts," the kitchen is always the most immaculate part of the house, even after it's newly rennovated. P.S. After reading this post, go watch Queer Eye (on Netflix!) and I DARE YOU to tell me and my roommates you don't think Antoni is "sexy AF."
Tan France, Fashion
Next, meet Tan, QE's fashion expert. He's Pakistani and hails from England, so he offers a unique cultural aspect to the show that is, in the best way, incomparable. Tan also has an entrepreneurial spirit; he started his own business when he was 26, which he goes into in more depth in the show. Tan is incredibly sweet and endearingly direct, especially when articulating that he "could not give about a fashion," and that he is really trying to teach these men – and all of us – that "STYLE is dressing the way you feel confident."
Karamo Brown, Culture
Other than being the designated QE culture expert, Karamo is an incredibly important and prominent figure in the LGBTQ community. First, Karamo is the founder of 6in10, an organization he created to raise awareness about HIV. He was also THE FIRST openly gay black man on MTV's Real World Series in 2004. He has two children who reside in Los Angeles, and was a host for MTV's Are You The One: Second Chances. Aside from the culture aspects he aims to teach the men he meets through QE, though he may not have the proper documentation, Karamo appears to be naturally well-versed in motivational speaking and life coaching. There is a lot to learn from Karamo Brown, even if you're not an unstylish, uncultured southern man.
Bobby Berk, Design
You're a liar and a half if you tell me you don't want Bobby Berk to come redesign your living space. I'm trying to figure out how I can get him to decorate my first apartment post-graduation for free! Though Bobby doesn't have much opportunity to change men in a hands-on way, he is incredibly involved in revamping their living space. Over the course of the season, viewers have the opportunity to see Bobby completely transform spaces that range from bedrooms to entire houses to a firehouse's living and dining area. He even has a number of helpful DIY tips that I'm personally dying to try! The best part about Bobby's tricks of the trade is that if they aren't budgeted designs from the get-go, they can be modified to be wildly affordable.
Jonathan Van Ness, Grooming
Last but DEF not least is the "Sasha-fierce" Jonathan Van Ness. Jonathan's flamboyant, vibrant and infectiously-positive personality is such an integral part of the QE experience. He makes the most of every situation, and is the biggest proponent of DIY scrubs I've ever seen. Jonathan's speciality and focus is grooming, but he seems to be good at just about everything else. Or, maybe it's the fact that despite his glam factor, Jonathan is very confident in everything he does. He's also great with the kids on this show, and is never afraid to let his freak flag fly! (Though Jonathan is less of a freak and more of an outspoken, audacious diva.)
I think this show should be wildly popular for a number of reasons. Mainly, I believe there's a lot to learn from these men. Fashion, lifestyle and culture aside, the new Fab 5 does a great job of tackling stereotypes and misconceptions that surround the LGBTQ community. The stark contrast of culture between the Fab 5, who split the majority of their time between the progressive metropoles Los Angeles and New York, with the men they aid who live on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia make for a variety of life lessons. Much of the men whose lives the Fab 5 uproot admit that they don't know any gay people; were taught within their religions that being gay is a sin; and/or even admit to the fact that they were nervous about spending an entire week with gay men because they had never had such exposure. These core five individuals are incredibly bright, and make it so fun to challenge white male heterogeneity.
Queer Eye demonstrates, in the most light-hearted manner, that not every uncomfortable situation has to be so stoical and serious. The series shows that, if you're talking to the right person, it's okay to ask questions, even if you think they might be offensive. Embracing a curious mindset opens the door to answers and understanding, which can hopefully lead to widespread acceptance. Though the show itself focuses on hurdling LGBTQ hardships, the takeaways from each episode can be implemented to just about every current social movement.
As the straightest and whitest of Jewish girls from the Northeast, I always feel like it's never my place to make comments on social movements and progression. BUT, this kind of thinking is EXACTLY what I'm talking about right now, and what QE is trying to combat! If you have something positive and constructive to add to the conversation, or you want to know more to become a woke individual, be receptive! Ask questions! Don't judge people based on their sexual preference, race, gender or ethnicity! And overall, we all just want to be loved!! ♥️♥️
All photos borrowed from the show's official Instagram page, @queereye.