Caption: Jonathan Van Ness gives a speech to his old high school about their planned makeover for one of the teachers. The ‘Fab Five’ plan on improving her life throughout the episode. (Photo courtesy of Rachel Fearn)
Queer Eye is a Netflix based show, involving five openly-gay individuals who search to remodel people’s lives for the better. The five hosts include Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, and Jonathan Van Ness. They met shortly before the start of the show, through auditions. Luckily these five were chosen, because Queer Eye would not be the same without the ‘Fab Five’.
Each episode, the Fab Five choose a nominated individual. Friends, family, or co-workers nominate these people because they believe their lives could use a little boost. The group then surprises whoever they chose and begin to turn their life around.
Each member of Queer Eye is famous for their own specialty. Antoni Porowski’s nickname is ‘the food and wine expert’ by fans, and teaches the individual healthier eating habits, the best things to grab for an easy snack, or how to spice up their favorite meal. Kamaro Brown is known as the ‘culture expert’, and helps people face their largest challenges and to accept their culture or differences. Jonathan Van Ness is the ‘beauty guru’: always ready with a new hairstyle, some facial cream, and a new nightly routine to try out. Van Ness is also a hairdresser, and gives people the chance to feel fresh and confident in how they look. Next, Tan France is the fashion expert, choosing the best outfits and styles to redo someone’s look. Last is Bobby Burk. Burk’s expertise is on the architectural side; he focuses on refurbishing and restyling one’s house, so it is beautiful and more welcoming as each day goes on.
In an interview for Vulture, Tan France said, “this is a global show. We have the luxury in the West of being able to say, ‘Yeah, absolutely, we’re progressive, we’ve moved forward with the gay community.’ We haven’t in a lot of other countries. My people from Pakistan — I know we haven’t moved forward.”
Essentially, Queer Eye is taking small steps in an effort to incorporate LGBTQ+ individuals into the community. Even if it is starting slow, place by place, the Fab Five are appreciated by individuals and viewers all around the world, who know their work will soon be seen worldwide.
Queer Eye is effective in the gay community because it essentially teaches LGBTQ+ individuals that coming out is fully supported, and they wil find individuals who support them no matter what. Bobby Burk stated in an interview for Vulture that “We’re not out there just pushing the gay agenda that, oh, you’ve got to look this way and act this way and be metrosexual. We’re like, hey, let’s find amazing things about you and help you see them”. This focus is extremely important as one of the most stressful realizations of the gay community is realizing you are different, and Queer Eye makes sure every individual is accepted no matter their differences.
In season one, episode four, features a man named A.J.. A.J. is in a committed relationship with another man but has yet to come out to his step-mom. Over the course of the episode, A.J. comes to the realization that coming out is something he must do, as he still regrets he did not come out to his dad who passed away. After A.J. reveals the truth to his step-mom, they embrace, and she lets A.J. know she supports him no matter what. A.J.’s episode has become a symbol of something greater, particularly for viewers who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. “He did something that really is paying off for so many young men and women across the world, across the globe. His coming-out story is a story of hope”, said David Collins, the producer of Queer Eye in an interview with Vanity Fair.
Queer Eye is an extremely important show for representation in the gay community. Not only does the show bring entertainment to millions around the world, it promotes the idea that change and individuality is okay and are accepted. It also gives people an appreciation of others who are different, and educates people on the importance of getting to know someone instead of making assumptions based on their lifestyle or first reaction. The show inspires people to make a change and to accept their differences, in a positive, uplifting show.
Whether it’s from coming out to your family and friends, confronting your troubling past, a simple night routine, or a change in surroundings, the smallest things can change someones’ life for the better.