My 2018 holiday break consisted of binge watching Queer Eye and ugly-happy crying at every single episode and I wouldn’t want it any other way. This series is a lot more than just another makeover show, it taught me so much in just two seasons and everyone could benefit from watching it.
Queer Eye originally aired on Bravo in the early 2000s as Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
The show was led by five gay men, experts on five different categories of life. These categories included: fashion, food, personal grooming, interior design, and culture. Each episode they would makeover a straight man’s entire life.
Eventually the show expanded to makeovers for anyone regardless of sexual orientation or gender.
In 2007 the last episode aired until Netflix picked up the series in 2018.
Currently you can stream two seasons on Netflix with the third set to air in 2019.
New Fab Five
A new fab five accompanied the reboot of the show:
Food and Wine: Antoni Porowski
- A graduate of Concordia University with a Bachelor’s in Psychology, Porowski actually ended up pursuing acting in New York City. While acting, he worked his way up in the restaurant industry from busboy to manager and eventually became a personal chef for Ted Allen (an original Queer Eye member).
Fashion: Tan France
- France studied fashion at Hall Cross School and Doncaster college. Following graduation he worked for Zara and Selfridges. He then became company director at Shade Clothing before opening his own company and later founding a women’s clothing line, Kingdom & State and founding the Rachel Parcell clothing line.
Culture: Karamo Brown
- Beginning his career on MTV series, The Real World: Philadelphia, he became the first gay black man on reality TV. Among starring in other reality tv shows, Brown also hosted several series. He also is very involved in activism and co-founded 6in10.org which helps combat HIV stigma and promotes mental health support and HIV education to the black LGBT community.
Design: Bobby Berk
- After being on his own since 15, Berk moved to New York City in 2003 and began working at Restoration Hardware and Bed, Bath and Beyond. Later on he worked for Protico and eventually became creative director. In 2006, he launched an online store called Bobby Berk Home with locations nation-wide and later founded Bobby Berk Interiors + Design.
Grooming: Jonathan Van Ness
- Jonathan graduated from Aveda Institute and co-founded MoJoHair and Stile Salons in Los Angeles. He’s also known for his web series Gay of Thrones and podcast Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness.
I did not expect to gain as much as I did when I began my Queer Eye journey. This show has taught me so much about the lives of others, acceptance, and the importance of self-love on the inside and out.
Image via Buzzfeed
We All Can Reach Across the Aisle
There were several episodes where I could tell the Fab Five disagreed with the individuals they were making over.
Whether it was politics or religion, the differences weren’t ignored but also didn’t cause tension.
Transparent and well-intentioned discussion is central to this series and it’s so refreshing to see. We live in a time of extreme polarization on so many issues, but this series emphasizes that a little effort to understand someone else’s point of view can go a long way.
Open-Mindedness is a Constant Journey
I always viewed myself as an extremely open-minded person. However, I never really thought much on how I can expand that part of myself.
Queer Eye gave me insight into tons of different lifestyles and types of individuals. This show truly acts as a vehicle of education as well. It shares the lives of the young, old, straight, gay, male, female, and transgender communities just to name a few.
Self-Love isn’t Shameful
Outward aesthetics weren’t something I ever viewed as that important. Yes, I have a few outfits that make me feel better than others and I definitely partake in my share of face masks and hair-care products, but I’ve always been an “it’s what’s on the inside that really matters” type of person.
While that definitely reigns true to an extent, there is absolutely nothing wrong with putting some effort into your appearance. Queer Eye, specifically Tan and Jonathan, preached the truth that your outside is a reflection of how you feel on the inside.
Dress up because it makes you feel good, because you believe that you’re worth it. Indulge in face masks and pedicures because that effort will translate into other endeavors. Having pride in the way you present yourself gives you that extra bit of confidence to pursue your goals and dreams like you never thought you could.
EVERYONE is Beautiful, If They Choose to See It
When you learn to love yourself on the inside and out, that reflects onto how you look to the world as well.
There were many individuals on Queer Eye who aren’t “conventionally attractive.” However, once they did some confidence-boosting and soul-searching, their beauty radiated.
These transformations were so inspiring because they are so much more than just external. The Fab Five taught people how to recognize the beauty within, and that then translated to their outer-beauty as well.
I really cannot sing high enough praises of this series and cannot wait until season three comes out. Everyone can benefit from watching Queer Eye regardless of what background they come from. This isn’t just another makeover show, it’s a lesson in understanding, love, and compassion.
Cover image via W Magazine0
Also published on Medium.