Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > Entertainment

“Queer Eye” Is the Reality Show We Didn’t Know We Needed

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ithaca chapter.

Queer Eye is Netflix’s reboot of an early 2000s show, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. The basic premise of the show is that five gay men, referred to as the “Fab 5,” spend a week giving total makeovers to (mostly) straight guys who are nominated by friends or relatives. The makeovers are all-encompassing and each member of the Fab 5 has his own role. In the Netflix version, Jonathan is the Grooming expert, Tan is in charge of Style, Antoni covers Food and Wine, Bobby is the Interior Design expert and Karamo specializes in Culture. By the end of the week (or 40-minute episode) the contestant is completely transformed and has found a new sense of confidence.

In a word, Queer Eye can only be described as wholesome. From the opening sequence to the episode wrap-up, there is nothing but positive energy and happiness. The members of the Fab 5 are all so kind and welcoming that even the most reserved contestants quickly grow comfortable with opening up to them. While the point is to get the contestant out of his comfort zone to become his best self, they never push it too far and are always there with encouragement along the way. The supportive atmosphere isn’t limited to the screen. Pick any Instagram post made by one of the cast members and in the comments, you’ll find the other four hyping him up.

For many viewers, Queer Eye is more than entertainment: it’s like a healing experience. There are so few examples of positive gay role models on TV and this series features five of them AND portrays them each with their own unique personalities. It’s refreshing to see a show where people can unapologetically be who they are while encouraging those they makeover to do the same. Many LGBT+ viewers have been waiting their entire lives to see such a positive portrayal of people who share their experiences.

The welcoming and accepting nature of Queer Eye and its cast also invites a lot of impactful conversations that you don’t get in other reality shows. It’s based out of Atlanta, so many of the contestants come from relatively conservative regions in Georgia where views on homosexuality are still mixed. Many of them admitted that, because of their upbringing, they didn’t have a lot of experience interacting with gay people. Simply through informal conversations between cast and contestants, the show poignantly brings light to several prominent social issues, from the characterization of homosexuality in religion to Black Lives Matter.

If you haven’t watched Queer Eye yet, do yourself a favor and add it to your queue. It’s unique, entertaining and an overall wholesome experience. But be warned: you WILL develop a crush on at least one member of the Fab 5. It’s not your fault, though! They’re so charming!

1, 2, 3, 4

Joanna is a senior Applied Psychology major at Ithaca College from Rochester, NY.