Hope for humanity is here!
SPOILER: If you don’t like Queer Eye, this is not the post for you.
Who knew in this time of ‘Fake News’, intolerance, a near daily threat of nuclear war and Love Island (just kidding) that there were people who could instill a sense of hope in our wisened, fearful hearts?
We’ve made no secret of the fact that we’re anxious bunnies here at Flawkward, and let’s face it, the modern world is more than a little terrifying at times. So, when we find something, someone or somewhere that serves some extra joy, we’re interested.
I discovered Queer Eye, or should I say, succumbed to the hype, after a particularly shitty few days.
I had endured my first real anxiety attack in years, and to be honest I was floored and exhausted by the nagging feeling of dread in my chest. I wanted to relax, to forget my worries and be immersed – nothing else had worked so it was a long shot. Ten minutes in to the first episode I was smiling, fifteen I was laughing and by the end I shed a tear. These men, this show, they were like a five week yoga retreat in a day; they literally picked me out of my funk and told me to get some bloody perspective and smile again, but not in a way that made me ever consider I should feel ashamed of having struggled a bit.
In its reboot of the series Queer Eye for The Straight Guy, Netflix (more specifically the casting folks) have struck complete gold – Queer Eye is the therapy I didn’t know I needed and I promise you, no matter what political views you hold, how you identify in terms of sexuality or gender, how old you are or how much you think you hate reality TV – you need it too.
This isn’t just because we’re Yorkshire lasses and Tan’s from Donny, or because Jonathan is pure, glamorous, bearded sunshine; it isn’t that Karamo can work literally any colour of bomber jacket (and those edges, wow), Antoni can make avocado and oranges look great together and Bobby can literally perform alchemy on living spaces either….these are just incidental pleasures. It’s because this show is quite literally reminding people what it is to be human, to nurture and unearth their inherent humanity – how fucking powerful is that????
It sounds obvious – we’re all human, but we live permanently divided by perception, assumption, fear we’ve learned or been fed, judgements we pass or have had thrust on us, and so our behaviours can’t help but be shaped by this.
So how can five guys tarting up someone’s wardrobe, house and hairline change the world?
They can when they start the most candid and open conversation about how black men feel about police brutality, or discuss how the church abandoning them shaped their struggles, or how they know they have to look beyond a political standpoint to understand the person and develop other ways to connect.
Netflix scoured through hundreds, if not thousands of gay men to find the now affectionately named ‘Fab Five’. These men have each faced their own struggles – whether that was their sexuality, broken families or rejection from churches they once called home – but they walk into lives where on occasion they’re forced to relive these challenges and do so with open-minded grace. They quite literally change lives.
But it’s not just the relationships they build with their subjects, or even the very obvious, deep impact they have on them.
HI TOM, NEAL, LEO and TAMMYE, to name a few. It’s how they carry themselves. I’ve rarely seen people be so completely authentically NICE on TV. Nice is a word which has lost its impact; we apply it to our modern world and we think ‘niceness’ just isn’t good enough anymore. But being nice is so damn important, and these guys personify the term: chucking in a healthy dose of kindness, empathy and absolutely NO JUDGEMENT along the way. (I’d love to say I am completely non-judgemental, I certainly want to be, but I love this show so fricking much that if you can’t see why I may judge you for that…jokes, jokes.)
Try it, please….you’ll almost definitely like it, and at the very least you’ll gather yourself some awesome knowledge about the French Tuck, Edges, why ‘Henny’ features in the title of this blog and so much more. Everyone’s a winner.
I may or may not be completely, totally and irrevocably in love with Jonathan Van Ness. Yes I am straight and (very happily) married, yes he is completely gay, but I love him so very much (as does my husband), and I am almost 100% sure he is one of the most beautiful, kind and eloquent people on the planet (check out his podcast Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness, you’ll love it).
Featured image taken from E! News.