Why Queer Eye's Reboot Is Exactly What The World Needs
A refreshing, and necessary, reboot of the much loved 2000s Queer Eye - For the Straight Guy has taken Netflix and its viewers by storm. "The original show was fighting for tolerance, our fight is for acceptance," contemporary Fab Five, member, Tan France says in the pilot episode. With a coveted 98 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and after the recent confirmation of a third (!!) season for the series, the sentiments of the show feel necessary more than ever - and is something we've been been binging - and loving - ever since the release.
The series is hosted, and starred by, the 'Fab Five', consisting of Tan France, Karamo Brown, Anthony Porowski, Bobby Berk and Jonathan Van Ness. They are five proud, queer men who help a nominated person who often requires some outside help either loving, discovering or embracing themselves through their own areas of specialty including; fashion, cuisine, culture, design and beauty. Each episode brings a new challenge for both the Fab Five and their subjects as they push their clients to their limits, from cutting all their hair off, to physically jumping off cliffs and doing all that is necessary to reach a miraculous and wholesome, inside-out transformation.
Appearing just as shallow and superficial every other 'make over' show in existence, Queer Eye breaks this mould by taking this familiar television concept to delve into deeper, darker places whilst still being immensely entertaining and hilarious. Queer Eye takes reality television to a whole new realm by using the platform to positively influence their audience to alter or completely reverse negativity towards minority groups. In a genre overflowing with superficial content and trivial drama, the series sheds light on serious societal issues in a way which does not alienate their viewers, but rather, makes them feel like part of the solution.
Queer Eye works towards breaking down traditional ideals of masculinity and tears apart the coinciding entrapment some men feel by trying to fit a certain stereotype. In a world where we have produced advertising campaigns telling men it's okay to cry, and hashtags to let men know they can speak up if they're not okay, Queer Eye is a shining light for the realistic and emotional portrayal of men. The show puts toxic masculinity and homophobia under close scrutiny, not just for their viewers but also for their subjects. And it champions those, as they work to over come social anxieties and ingrained phobias.
The Fab Five, along with tackling male orientated issues, bring to light issues prevalent in the LGBTQ+ community such as gender transitioning, and the emotional turmoil of coming out to family. The episode in the second season where the Fab Five makeover trans man, Skyler, reveals harsh realities of transitioning, whilst placing emphasis on the importance of the move for the subject themselves. As a single example, this could give someone the push to embrace their true self, or serve as a reminder to support and comfort those going through transitional periods.
Although societal attitudes may have developed since the 2000s, we still live in a world where teenagers are thrown out and left homeless, bullied and beaten up, or stared at and ridiculed for holding their partners hand in public. We still live in a world where people end their lives due to feeling different, strange or rejected because of their queer status.
"We all got to come together in a way we can understand each other." - Karamo Brown
With ways to go in our collective efforts for unconditional love and acceptance of one another, Queer Eye jerks tears by championing differences and true emotional expression, episode after episode. It truly feels like a sashay in the right direction.