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Queer Eye: Opening up a new path for men

After a decade since the original show got aired, Netflix decided to bring Queer Eye back with brand new characters and settings. The reboot is a little bit different than the original and replaces the New York setting with that of Atlanta. The show features five gay men, attractive and confident, trying to sort out the lives of straight men. It has been named the most empowering TV show for men and a perfect retort to the “What about us?” and the #MeToo movement. Apart from fashion, the show focuses on taking baby steps to change the lives of many men, especially, the lonely ones who have lost the social connection.

The show also focuses on creating a bond and unity among men by showing how they can help each other out and support each other during their emotional recovery. It teaches men to care about themselves and about fashion, to deal with their emotions, and come out of the conventional masculine norms. The show, quite unconventionally, focuses on the struggle men face today.

Moya Bailey, an assistant professor at Northeastern University, studies how race, gender, and sexuality get represented in media. She says the show is a turning point for men and their relationships with women. However, she points out, “The part that sticks out to me is this assumption that straight men can’t be better partners without assistance; that it’s queer men doing the labour of making them better partners with women.” The show also focuses on breaking racial stereotypes by showing men of colour which the original one failed to portray. Bailey expects to find more such shows but mainly the ones which have been created by queer people for queer people. She believes it will open up new avenues for the world as well as her research.

Subarna Basu