On Feb. 7, 2018, Netflix released their long-awaited reboot of the reality show, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (later shortened to Queer Eye). The original series, which premiered in 2003 and ran for five seasons on Bravo, featured a cast of five gay men known as the Fab Five. One of the most notable stars is Ted Allen from Food Network’s cooking competition show, Chopped.
Each of the members of the Fab Five had their own specific area of expertise: fashion, interior design, food and drink, culture and grooming. Similar to its successful predecessor, the Netflix reboot features a team of five experts: Tan France (fashion), Bobby Berk (design), Antoni Porowski (food and drink), Karamo Brown (culture), and Jonathan Van Ness (grooming). In each of the eight episodes set in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, the Fab Five is responsible for making over a typically straight, not-so-fashion-forward male subject.
While the show focuses on revamping the subject’s appearance and everyday life, there is equal emphasis on mental health and underlying issues that may affect the overall confidence of said subject. Since its Netflix premiere, the Queer Eye reboot has received mostly positive reviews and gained popularity quickly, especially due to the show’s coverage of important topics, such as the church’s views on the LQBTQIA+ community, challenging gender norms, and the relationships between police officers and people of color.
After seeing social media posts about Queer Eye, I ended up binge-watching the show in three days. I enjoyed it not only for its quirky, stylish cast members (who I fell in love with instantly for the unapologetic ways in which they embraced their personalities onscreen) but for the inspiring, heartwarming stories featured on the show as well. It’s clear that the Fab Five are not working on each of the subjects, who they refer to as “heroes,” but rather with them on their journey to self-confidence. Viewers can see that the Fab Five genuinely connected with the heroes and still keep in touch with most of them to track their progress since the end of the season. While Queer Eye is definitely entertaining, viewers can learn many life lessons through watching the show.
1. It’s never too late to make a change in your life.
In the very first episode, 57-year-old Tom Jackson tells the Fab Five that due to his old age, he is beyond repair because “you can’t fix ugly.” However, after his transformation and with the support of the Fab Five, Tom realizes that you can accomplish anything at any age.
2. Don’t expect change to happen instantly.
Of course, it takes time and patience. As long as you take every day one step at a time, you’ll be able to work towards positive change. A little effort goes a long way.
3. Self-care is necessary.
For the sake of your own mental and physical health, it’s incredibly important. Treat yourself.
4. When making changes to your life, you should work on being the best version of yourself rather than somebody that you’re not.
You’ve got to work with what you’ve got.
5. Allow yourself to be vulnerable with people you trust.
Even though it’s easy to close yourself off from your emotions and shut people out in fear of getting hurt, you are preventing yourself from building relationships with others and experiencing positive feelings from these connections.
6. Don’t be afraid to accept help from others.
It’s great to have a support system to lift you up when you’re feeling sad or going through a tough time. The Fab Five are incredibly supportive and are constantly encouraging one another as well as the heroes they work with on the show.
7. Never be afraid to be your authentic self.
Embrace who you are — confidently!
As of March, Queer Eye is renewed for a second season coming to Netflix next year!