My new favorite show/addiction is Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. I just cannot get enough of it. Sometimes, I wish I was a dirty, unkempt straight man just so they will come to my house, buy me new clothes and furniture, take me to the spa, and put together a fabulous meal. Instead, I am left to my own devices.
The thing about this show is that it doesn’t really need to have five gay guys. Really, it could just be some put-together straight men, specifically of the metrosexual variety. All the Web sites I’ve found that define the term “metrosexual” highlight the idea that the metrosexual man is narcissistic because he spends time, money and energy on pursuits that have been traditionally associated with women or gay men, especially things like grooming and fashion. But to me, taking on these traits and concerns is not narcissistic, but part of becoming a whole person. Yes, the inside is the most important, but dammit, sometimes you just need to take care of the outside.
And what those five queers do isn’t just about wearing designer clothes or having matching furniture, but it’s about doing things that every adult should do– taking care of your skin, hair and body, keeping your house clean and presentable, developing inner confidence, feeling better about yourself, and going after making yourself a better person, both on the outside and the inside. And even if you think it’s a little shallow or backwards, when you look good on the outside, when you live in a place that is clean and feels good to be in, you feel better on the inside.
On top of that, the people that are on this show really do deserve to be on the show. They’re good people who have, for whatever reason, let a lot of stuff fall by the wayside and just need someone to help them get their life back together. And that’s what’s great about the show and makes it palatable, even enjoyable to watch even though it’s a reality TV show: they don’t come to change you, they just want to make you better and make the outside– the hair, the skin, the clothes, the house– match the already great person on the inside. And that message comes through every episode. They’re jokes and teasing are funny and may sometimes seem harsh, but really, it’s the kind of constructive criticism that is most helpful: “This is just wrong and it’s not ‘you,’ but here’s how we’re going to fix it and make it ‘you’!”
And as for the culture and food and wine, really, would it hurt anybody to enjoy good food and become more cultured? This has nothing to do with being gay or straight– it’s really just about the fact that there’s an entire world out there with high quality, interesting new things and we shouldn’t be afraid to experience them. In fact, we should be searching for them!
But at the end of the day, I guess the “novelty” of the show comes from the gimmick that it’s five gay guys making over a straight guy, which is fine, I guess, if it gives a way for these makeovers to happen and more so, to show the straight guy and everyone else watching, “Hey, these guys are gay, but they’re OK, aren’t they? And hey, keeping your house clean and grooming regularly aren’t bad ideas, right?”
And as a self-proclaimed fag hag, how can I resist? Now, all I need is a show for me and my gay husband: “Queer and fag hag eye for the straight girl.” You know why? For starters, knock-off Louis Vuitton and Coach just ain’t cute.