One of the myths about gay men is that they are more stylish and culturally aware than the average straight man.
The Netflix show Queer Eye (2018 to 2021) is a reboot of the early aughts reality makeover show of the same name that aired on Bravo. As with its predecessor, five gay guys with expertise in various areas (fashion, food, grooming, culture, and design) helps (mostly) hapless heterosexual males to improve their physical appearance and their lives.
This show is so much fun to watch, mainly because the stars of the program are having fun. As an audience member, I am rooting for that episode’s subject, wishing that they get everything that they want from this experience. It also opens the door to see the LGBTQ community as something more than stereotypes and boogeymen for those with conservative beliefs.
The stereotype of straight men is they dress like slobs, are useless in the kitchen and generally unable to put themselves together. The stereotype of gay men is very much the opposite.
From 2003 to 2007, Queer Eye was one of Bravo’s biggest hits. It was a rare makeover show that for most of the run, focusing on men. Five gay guys, each with a specialty in a different area, would teach that episode’s subject on how to improve their life. Ted Allen was the food guru. Kyan Douglas was the expert in grooming. Thom Filicia was all about home decor and organization. Carson Kressley was the guide to the world of fashion. Jai Rodriguez’s expertise was in pop culture and relationships.
While the show’s focus was on the makeover of the men, it was much more than just another makeover show. It opened the door just little further to reducing the discrimination toward the LGBTQ community and humanizing what was and unfortunately still is a dehumanized minority.