Queer Eye for the Straight Guy began in 2003 in the United States and was a monumental television show that not only benefited the lives of the many contestants and viewers, but also paved the way for LGBTQ acceptance and pride across the world.
The original TV show, which focused on the same five categories as it’s spiced-up rendition, was an unexpected and brave addition to television across the world. Five gay men would introduce themselves into a struggling straight man’s life, and, as the title suggests, completely reinvent their physical, emotional, and mental outlook on life, an attribute that has remained the same today with the new Fab Five.
Queer Eye, the reboot of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, focuses on all the fundamental ideas in the original show, bringing self love, confidence, and a more driven and flamboyant way of life to all viewers. However, instead of diving in the streets of New York City as the Fab Five did on the original show, the newest stars of Queer Eye tackle the deep south, with seasons one and two filmed in Atlanta, Georgia and other neighboring towns, and season three filmed in Kansas City, Missouri.
This fearlessness exhibited by not just the original cast, who faced a world not quite as accepting to the LGBTQ community as we are now, but by the new cast is unparalleled, especially as they delve into southern states where homosexuality is generally far less accepted than in other areas of the US. This is only one of the notable qualities of Queer Eye, as the stars themselves are bravely and unapologetically themselves, a lesson that is especially critical to every high school student, girls and boys, who struggle with a lost sense of identity and confidence on a daily basis.
One of the five aspects of reinventing these men’s lives that is focused on in both the original and improved show is fashion, the seemingly fundamental building block of revamping one’s self and owning your individuality. This role, originally filled by Carson Kressley, is now held by Tan France, a fabulous Pakistani man from England, who’s idea of self love and confidence is symbolized through fashion, which inspires viewers to make them the best version of themselves through his stylistic tips.
A massive advocate for self love through self care is Jonathan Van Ness, who replaces Kyan Douglas in Queer Eye as the primary grooming expert.
“How you take care of yourself is how the world sees you. It’s okay to have a relationship with yourself,” says Jonathan, stressing the importance of loving yourself in order to become a successful and powerful force in your world.
The exterior of one’s self in not the only thing being remade by the Fab Five: Bobby Berk, a man raised by highly religious parents in an extremely homophobic setting in Missouri, replaces the famed Thom Filicia in completely renovating and improving people’s homes. His transformations are stunning and contribute to the contestants’ ability to live a freer, more comfortable, and more convenient life, while also giving tips and ideas to all those watching about how to make their homes more lively and enjoyable.
Within these newly improved homes comes Antoni Porowski, replacing the highly celebrated Ted Allen as the culinary force in Queer Eye. His fantastic approach to cooking and nutrition not only improves the health of the contestants on the show, but also gives them more freedom and creativity that stems from the kitchen and blooms into their daily lives.
Perhaps the most powerful role in both the original and redone show is of the “culture vulture”, where Jai Rodriguez in Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Karamo Brown in Queer Eye reboot use their positivity and uplifting ideas of life to bring true happiness to their contestants and viewers. They not only help others to tackle their personal obstacles, but also tackle societal pressures and norms.
“He needs to understand that being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength,” says Karamo Brown, contributing to the need of self love and care in a successful life, while also tackling the idea of fragile masculinity that seems to be the root of countless issues across the globe on personal and political levels.
The Fab Five’s ability to show love and compassion for not only those around them, but more importantly to themselves, is inspiring to those who witness it and allows them to see the possibility of howt true confidence and individuality can benefit one’s life. Their personal stories and the obstacles that they have overcome also contribute to the inspiring aura of the show, as their ultimate struggles and goals are to be themselves, because a life is not worth living unless you are undeniably you.
Queer Eye should be a universally watched and celebrated television show, as it breaks social and cultural barriers in a world that is seemingly unforgiving and indifferent to the beauty of individuality. It promotes an apparent forgotten act of self love and care that is an undeniable attribute to success, warmth, and happiness.