Queer Eye for the capitalism-damaged and toxically masculine
July 25, 2018 11:44 PM   Subscribe

The gimmick is that heterosexuality is a disaster, toxic masculinity is killing the world, and there are ways out of it aside from fascism or festering away in a lonely bedroom until you are eaten by your starving pitbull or your own insecurities ... The work that the Fab Five are doing for the luckless, loveless men of Georgia is girlfriend work. It is emotional labor, domestic labor, the work that anyone who has ever dated a straight man will recognize.“

“What the Queer Eye guys seem to be gently teaching their subjects (and, by extension, their viewers) is that it is possible to live well without a woman to take care of you—and if you’re lucky enough to have one offer to do so anyway, maybe you should show her some consideration by picking up after yourself and learning how to apply the business end of a comb. When you put it like that, it sounds simple. But two thousand years of socialization and half a century of profit-oriented self-dealing throw up a few mental hurdles ... Unfortunately, when offered the chance to do literally anything else with the years they’ve been given, an alarming number of women now choose not to spend them servicing and polishing the silverware and tarnished self-esteem of the more privileged half of the human race. Women and queer people have one advantage in the adulthood stakes: they have never been raised to believe that at some point someone would come along and clean under the sofas. Now, apparently, straight guys have to learn how to do that, too. Enter, stage left: the Male Gays.”
posted by Grandysaur (93 comments total) 77 users marked this as a favorite
 
“There is a reason straight women love this show. It’s the pornography of emotional labor”
posted by Grandysaur at 11:51 PM on July 25, 2018 [103 favorites]


I am not on my laptop so I cannot share any of the fabulous quotes but please, please, please go read the article if you have not read it yet. Thanks, OP! This is a really great read. A+++ would read again—and probably will.
posted by Bella Donna at 1:07 AM on July 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


This is fantastic, but I don't think Penny's comment that no gay men like this show is accurate, and her characterization about her trans gay dude friend as someone who "used to be a straight woman" (fucking hell, just say the word trans, and maybe ask your buddy what he thinks about the Skyler episode) is iffy at best. Maybe not her cool punk friends, but I definitely know quite a few gay dudes who do watch Queer Eye.
posted by storytam at 1:21 AM on July 26, 2018 [11 favorites]


*quietly thinks back if I ever bought Laurie a drink while also arguing for revolutionary socialism cause I know I’ve done both separately and if that counts as shopping and communism*
posted by The Whelk at 1:25 AM on July 26, 2018 [15 favorites]


I've never seen a single episode of Queer Eye, and I still very much enjoyed this beautifully-written article.
posted by Ziggy500 at 2:03 AM on July 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


As someone of historically mixed feelings on Penny's writing, and who was mad over the no-gays-like-this-show stuff mentioned above, I'm glad I made myself actually read the article rather than emptily snark...it's really good and worthwhile even if you've already consumed one billion queer eye takes.

(and only contains, like, one or two massively shoehorned references to the author's Cool Punk Life!)
posted by ominous_paws at 2:16 AM on July 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


A lot of my gay male friends enjoy Queer Eye, even those that didn't "used to live as a straight woman until recently" (yeesh what is that phrasing).

I would imagine that Bobby at least has an interior design qualification, that someone actually taught Jonathan how to cut hair, that Karamo is some flavor of professional life coach or counselor when he’s not being coerced into cuddling racist cops on television.

Bobby has run an interior design agency for over a decade. Anthoni's managed a restaurant. Tan's founded a fashion line. Karamo's worked as a social worker. Jonathan runs his own hair salon.

The conversations aren't as "staged, of course" as she makes them out to be - they're edited, sure, but they're long and develop naturally. Would you call all interviews "staged"?

There's a fair bit of conjecture being made in this article that could have been resolved with some basic fact-checking.
posted by divabat at 2:21 AM on July 26, 2018 [43 favorites]


I found the implication that there was little professional skill on offer from the fab five bizarre. Even without specifically looking them up, the domain specific knowledge of each member is evident in both their well targeted, low effort suggestions (the sheer efficiency of what's on offer in each makeover is what really impressed me) and the sense you get that this isn't even the oddest client any of them have had.
posted by Typhoon Jim at 3:33 AM on July 26, 2018 [15 favorites]


This show isn’t about how to win at life, but how to fail with style. It’s about giving straight guys permission to be more gracious losers.

Okay, I've coincidentally been on a QE jag for the past couple days. And - what is that nonsense? The two episodes I saw most recently were:

* an episode about an 18-year-old musician who'd been taken care of by a doting godmother, and was about to go to college. She'd homeschooled him, cooked for him, made all his clothes, did all his bookings, and did everything for him, basically, and he was a weird sort of 70-year-old Elton John clone in a teenagers' body, wearing jackets with his name spelled out in Bedazzles on the back in concert and playing for retirees in antique shops. She knew he had to go be himself, and called the gang to help - they taught him how to cook some basics, pushed him to socialize with kids his own age, and basically launched him into being a college kid hanging out with people his own age.

* A 26-year-old, the older of two kids to a close family that had suffered two losses recently - the father (a successful business owner) and the grandmother (whose house the kid had inherited, complete with all the original uber-70s decor). The guy had ambitions to start a new business like his father and take over "traditional family gathering" duties; but everyone in the family was still a little stuck reeling from the deaths (apparently the father had a massive heart attack during a family Sunday dinner and the son actually did CPR while waiting for the EMTs to come, but the dad didn't make it, so everyone was a little traumatized still). If you look at his Instagram you can see that within a few months, he was able to get a job, started volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, regularly gather with family and even achieve his lifelong dream of visiting Cuba.

how are either of these situations "failing with style"?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:06 AM on July 26, 2018 [55 favorites]


Queer Eye is super complicated, but I have really mixed feelings about the article. I think my issue is that it's trying to provide a nice, neat answer to complex questions. What does it mean to "dispatch" gay men to "fix" primarily straight men's lives? Is this show really for straight women's consumption and, if so, what does that mean? (Let's face it, I don't think Netflix is going to be making a program for queer folks, the money doesn't work, so who is their target demographic?)

I do get a staged feeling from the interviews (the one where Tan asks Skyler about being trans is hilariously bad, as are most instances of Karamo talking about race with white people). I don't think the conversations are scripted, but I do think they're staged re-enactments. If you pay close attention, you can tell that genuine meaningful conversations are happening, but we don't see them. The point about the qualifications of the hosts is interesting. The article isn't, I don't think, asserting that they're unqualified (except possibly Antoni), it's asserting that we aren't shown that they are qualified professionals.

It is worth asking what it means that the episodes that I felt haven't worked as well--the woman, the trans guy, to varying extents the gay men--are the ones that deviate from the mold.
posted by hoyland at 4:22 AM on July 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


I can't look at Jonathan Van Ness, his eyes always look like he just got horrible news just before filming and he's about to break down. I want to shout at the screen just let him go cry.
posted by fleacircus at 4:33 AM on July 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


I gave this article a shot, I really did, but I think many parts are poorly written and extremely uncharitable, and some parts straight up incorrect.

It is not queer people’s job to save straight people from the sinking ocean liner of heterosexuality any more than it is the job of women to save men from lifetimes of loneliness and rumpled jean shorts. All of us have enough to do manning the life rafts for ourselves and for each other.

I agree with this sentiment. But this show actually is the Fab Five's jobs? They are literally getting asked (the participants are often nominated and they obviously have to agree to participate) and also paid to do what they do. I don't know if I got the wrong end of the stick here, but one of the problems with emotional labor is that it's unrecognised and undervalued. This show is the opposite of that.

Give a man a makeover and you fix him for a day; teach a man that masculinity under late capitalism is a toxic pyramid scheme that is slowly killing him just like it’s killing the world, and you might just fix a sucking hole in the future.

I agree with this too. But it's a bit myopic if the writer is looking at one episode, one guy at a time. I think Queer Eye as a series is sparking some interesting conversations in general. The cast have broken out of just the show and have inserted discourse in what I feel are important topics in the general culture. For example, here is a Buzzfeed article recently highlighting Jonathan challenging his own cast members on their understanding of the homophobic cake shop case. And indeed if it's going to go on for a third season, that adds up to quite a lot of impressions and views.

And the jabs at Atoni frustrate me. Look at the people they are trying to help. He's not there to teach them how to make stuffed goose with cranberry glazing or whatever chef-fy standard people think he should be aiming for to prove his creds. The people Antoni helps need nutrition with easy to make dishes that they can stick to and as far as I can tell, he gives them that. From what I recall, all of his dishes use fresh ingredients that are easily assembled and taste good. Unfortunately, this is actually a skill that is lacking in a lot of households these days.
posted by like_neon at 4:38 AM on July 26, 2018 [27 favorites]


I really liked this. It's not without issues and yes, could have used some fact-checking, but it does have strengths and I am really enjoying the strengths.

BellaDonna I shared some quotes for you.

"Queer Eye is a cultural intervention masquerading as a Netflix series. It has rapidly become essential to the well-being of a great many good and decent human beings who had otherwise stopped turning on the television for fear of the horror leaking out of it."

"Most reality shows replicate the ruthless dogma of the age whereby life is made up of winners and losers and the trick is to hammer the other guy into the ground before he can do the same to you. On this show, men do not compete with each other. They touch each other, a lot, and seeing that brings home just how horrifyingly rare that is in untelevised reality. They cry and admit to one other how much it hurts to be alive while a handsome stranger teaches them how to make guacamole. There are no winners on Queer Eye—just better losers."

"The only thing worse than being marooned in your own comfort zone is being forced to live in someone else’s. Almost every queer person knows what that’s like. Almost every woman knows, too."

Also I just downloaded Tan France's Spotify playlist.
posted by bunderful at 5:45 AM on July 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


"Queer Eye is a cultural intervention masquerading as a Netflix series. It has rapidly become essential to the well-being of a great many good and decent human beings who had otherwise stopped turning on the television for fear of the horror leaking out of it."

Yep, pretty much. I'm super grateful for the existence of QE, it's an hour of people BEING KIND AND LOVING. No quirky plot twists, no shit blowing up, just humans being kind. It's nice to be reminded that kindness is still alive.
posted by MissySedai at 6:18 AM on July 26, 2018 [43 favorites]


There is one good point that the article makes, though:
It should be apparent even to the most unblinking neoliberal believer in the power of positive self-talk that the deficiency is not in this man’s soul, nor his self-confidence, but in his salary. His deficiencies have a dollar value, and culture has convinced him that that is his fault.

Money is the silent sixth member of the rescue squad. The services that the Fab Five are offering are worth more than most of these men could possibly afford—there are thousands of dollars of new clothes and furniture on offer here, and frankly, that’s no shabby way to advertise tolerance.
This is the one thing about the new QE that makes me a bit uneasy. A lot of the guys being made over say that they shop at, like, Goodwill, or that they go for the sale section - and Tan blinks a bit at that, and that bothers me a little.

i mean, the advice he gives them about how to properly shop with an eye to style and cut and fit, and how to assemble an outfit, can be applied whereever you shop - but the fact that Goodwill has been the only option for a lot of these guys is not a "fashion don't", it is a sign of income inequality. I remember from the earlier series that Carson would address this with a couple comments when it seemed like someone was on a lower end of the economic scale - usually by doing something as simple as taking them to H&M, with a comment that "you actually don't have to spend a lot of money to look good, you just have to know what to look for" or something like that. It was very subtle, but it at least acknowledged the income issue.

Tan, on the other hand, once brought a guy into a shop and asked him "so where would you start looking in a place like this?" And the guy said, "uh....I'd go right for the 'sale' section usually," and Tan laughingly said "oh, there isn't a 'sale' section here!" And honestly, the lack of a "sale" section is probably why the guy being madeover - a manager of a WalMart - wasn't shopping in such an establishment in the first place.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:42 AM on July 26, 2018 [64 favorites]


I'm not sure about this particular essay, but it's definitely in my preferred genre which is Queer Eye thinkpieces.
posted by Think_Long at 6:43 AM on July 26, 2018 [6 favorites]


Women and queer people have one advantage in the adulthood stakes: they have never been raised to believe that at some point someone would come along and clean under the sofas.
This is insightful and, IME, true. In my case, however, I find that as I get older I tend more and more to hearken to the words of the Sainted Crisp, "There is no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn't get any worse."
posted by octobersurprise at 6:49 AM on July 26, 2018 [16 favorites]


Tan is a sensible lad from Doncaster who is all round great, but the French tuck is bullshit.
posted by Artw at 7:05 AM on July 26, 2018 [14 favorites]


Podcast with Jonathan and Tan - there’s some interesting stuff about their backgrounds and the various dynamics of the show, but also they actually really, really like and admire each other in a way which is super charming.
posted by Artw at 7:13 AM on July 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


*quietly thinks back if I ever bought Laurie a drink while also arguing for revolutionary socialism cause I know I’ve done both separately and if that counts as shopping and communism*

Theres a sentence in there that did make me say “oh, she knows The Whelk” to myself.
posted by Artw at 7:17 AM on July 26, 2018 [9 favorites]


Oh god, the French Tuck has caused universal horror among all (UK) QE lovers I know. Sure, I'd just love to look like I've gone to pee and absentmindedly tucked the front in after.

And yes, very much agreed on money - the older guy with the big family in particular didn't need making over, he needed a functioning welfare system.

(this is now the current catch-all QE thread)
posted by ominous_paws at 7:22 AM on July 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


All discussions of QE are socioeconomic discussions of the impact of toxic masculinity.
posted by Artw at 7:24 AM on July 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


Tan is a sensible lad from Doncaster who is all round great, but the French tuck is bullshit.

THANK DOG SOMEONE SAID IT.

Also, ive spent entirely too much time trying to decide if the "french" part of the French Tuck is intended to refer to France the country or France the Tan.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 7:27 AM on July 26, 2018 [3 favorites]




I really enjoyed reading the article as well as the discussion here. The article may have flaws but I found a lot of worthwhile stuff in it to chew over.
posted by PussKillian at 7:44 AM on July 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


"French tuck" was not what I thought it was, especially after seeing the expressions of horror. Having now clarified, I agree that the French Tuck is far more horrifying.
posted by Dysk at 7:50 AM on July 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


but the French tuck is bullshit.

I WILL FITE YOU!!

(This is because as a fairly schelppy straight dude I have been rocking the "French Tuck" for years because belly+belt+T-shirt+shorts=unpleasant flesh-on-metal friction unless you tuck in the shirt & T-shirt tucked all the way into shorts is a leeetle too uptight of a look especially when wearing something like the skull & crossed guitars T from The Casbah in San Diego. So it's been kind of fun to be able to go, "Ha-HA! It's not weird, it's style. Tran from QE said so!")
posted by soundguy99 at 8:01 AM on July 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


jenquat has argued strongly pro French tuck for me, and I think it looks good on me and my beer belly.

Also I love the new Queer Eye series (and also quite liked the older one, which helped me get okay at looking better and feeling better about myself coming out of a severely difficult breakup a few years ago).
posted by kalessin at 8:04 AM on July 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


On a more serious note, thanks for posting the essay and for the discussion around it.

I also especially thought the piece made good points about the income-inequality aspects of the show & makeovers, although I would raise the idea that the QE creators may be in a bit of a rock-and-a-hard-place position here - one of the (often) subtle but pervasive elements of toxic masculinity is the idea that spending more than the bare necessary minimum on clothing (or grooming products) is vapid, vain, and well, unmasculine. So explaining that, yeah, you can actually spend more than $5 on a pair of pants without sacrificing your manliness can be a relatively low-key way to push against the tight boundaries of masculinity that men have been raised on, but figuring out how to make that point without just turning it into economically-unrealistic retail therapy could be a tough balancing act.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:30 AM on July 26, 2018 [8 favorites]


This is the one thing about the new QE that makes me a bit uneasy. A lot of the guys being made over say that they shop at, like, Goodwill, or that they go for the sale section - and Tan blinks a bit at that, and that bothers me a little.

I thought they did a good job at addressing this in the Season 1 episode "Camp Rules" where they took the father and kids to Target. They showed them how to find inexpensive clothes and bulk-buy household items, and taught them how to navigate a big box store (which is definitely one of those skills that US society teaches women how to do and does not teach men). They also showed him that in his extraordinarily busy life, he could recruit the kids for help and also use chores like shopping as family bonding time. I felt a little bad that he didn't get fancy clothes like the other men that were made over in Season 1, but I liked that they were encouraging him to be self-sufficient which required shopping on his own budget.
posted by capricorn at 8:50 AM on July 26, 2018 [8 favorites]


(Yes I know that episode is also discussed in TFA)
posted by capricorn at 8:51 AM on July 26, 2018


Oh god, the French Tuck has caused universal horror among all (UK) QE lovers I know

Can we all please use its true name, the Shirt Mullet.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 9:04 AM on July 26, 2018 [32 favorites]


I love QE, but when I watch it, sometimes I see echoes of guys I know, guys who have women in their lives trying constantly and ever so kindly to help them up their game, and then to hear the QE guys say, "Has anyone in your life ever suggested blah? Like a million times? So let's just go ahead and do blah, OK?" And it's like oh, when a Man Says It, or in this case Five Fabulous Men Say It...
posted by Former Congressional Representative Lenny Lemming at 9:28 AM on July 26, 2018 [15 favorites]


Worth reading for this marvelous turn of phrase alone: "prizing open the calcified clamshell of the male heterosexual emotional mindscape."
posted by HotToddy at 9:43 AM on July 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


Give a man a makeover and you fix him for a day; teach a man that masculinity under late capitalism is a toxic pyramid scheme that is slowly killing him just like it’s killing the world, and you might just fix a sucking hole in the future.

That seems like it would be a more relevant comment if they were doing these makeovers in private rather than in tbe context of modeling alternatives to toxic masculinity on television.
posted by straight at 9:44 AM on July 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


And the jabs at Atoni frustrate me. Look at the people they are trying to help. He's not there to teach them how to make stuffed goose with cranberry glazing or whatever chef-fy standard people think he should be aiming for to prove his creds.

One episode where I especially appreciated Antoni's role is with Mamma Tammye, when he told her "I don't want to teach you anything, I just want to learn from you," and he acted as kitchen helper while she made all her own recipes. He's never just dropping off a recipe for an appetizer-- he asks what people already like and help them do it at home, or do it in a way that's more healthy, or he introduces them to restaurants in town where they can learn more about that style of cuisine and kitchen trips from experts-- it's a very social and cultural model of food and nourishment beyond the old Ted Allen model of "here is a dish that will make your girlfriend want to sleep with you." (No offense to Ted, I love him, I just think he never got the same latitude that Antoni has now.)

I also think a lot of people roll their eyes at Antoni because of two specific dishes-- the guacamole with greek yogurt in it, and the time he told someone Cabot Raw Milk White Cheddar was his favorite cheese. The first one, the whole team was specifically helping Tom with his lupus, and I wouldn't be surprised if that version of the guac was designed for that person. (Plus, Tom's preferred "margarita" was tequila in Mountain Dew-- he wasn't super invested in whether or not dishes were authentic.) And the cheddar-- look, when they are in Georgia or Kansas, not everyone has access to a Whole Foods, let alone a local cheesemonger. Introducing people to brands they recognize, with versions of mainstream foods that are a little fancier, is absolutely a reasonable approach.

anyway apparently I get defensive about Antoni, good to know
posted by a fiendish thingy at 9:54 AM on July 26, 2018 [41 favorites]


One episode where I especially appreciated Antoni's role is with Mamma Tammye, when he told her "I don't want to teach you anything, I just want to learn from you," and he acted as kitchen helper while she made all her own recipes.

Ahh. Our reaction to that was not so positive.

See also the one where he had to bring in a ringer to make pasta.
posted by Artw at 9:58 AM on July 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


I should also note that apropos of the French tuck and other fashion mullets, though I do have sartorial preferences of my own, and boundaries too, I tend instead, to try to be affably compliant to my partner's and friends' preferences when they're no skin off my ass. Regarding tucking all, none, or part of the hem of one garment into another, I just want to look decent for my friends' and partner's sake, so if I have no strong opinion, I'll wear the mullet if it please them.
posted by kalessin at 10:16 AM on July 26, 2018


Given the caveat that I've never seen the show, I found this article very interesting and persuasive. However, as a straight man, I'm curious about the intersection of fashion and emotional labor. (If this is all-too-obvious to the women present, please forgive me my mansplaining -- I'm trying to work through these ideas.)

A lot of stuff is just plain old labor. Labor labor, not even the emotional kind: cooking and cleaning, keeping house. Even so, it fits well within the EL analysis because this is all part of a whole. So, yes, men need coaching on that stuff.

Presumably, if the makeovers in QE involve cleaning and cooking, and assuming this article's thesis is correct, then the QE guys must also look at the more definitive EL stuff: social/relationship/emotional work. Because all that is another necessary leg of self-sufficiency; it's stuff that men aren't doing for themselves when a woman isn't there to do it for them.

Here I'd like to raise the question: just what is a makeover, anyway? Most superficially, it's about becoming more appealing to others. More deeply, it's about being more confident in oneself. But what does that really mean?

So now here's this third leg of the stool, something involving design, style, fashion, and hygiene, things more conventionally associated with the makeover. The other two legs, household maintenance and social maintenance, are obviously of a kind: a person can't healthily function without them. But fashion and style?

Instead of asking how it's different from the other two, instead let's assume that it's not different. One way into this is to look at the idea of the "makeover" and then ask how the other two legs are related to it. In particular, we have good reasons to understand the makeover as something far more than superficial, because it's clearly about self-image and confidence and enacting.

Without the maintenance of daily life, both of the home and socially (those other two legs), the makeover is at best ephemeral and at worst illusory. Let's assume the results of the makeover are intended to signal competence, that attractiveness and confidence signify to others that one is well-functioning. Sure, there's a short-term benefit to just faking it, but given that for most people seeking attractiveness and self-confidence from the makeover is in service to finding a comfortable social life, faking it is ultimately self-defeating. And it seems that from the standpoint of this iteration of the QE team, their goal is something more enduring.

From the other direction, it's clear that the household maintenance and the social/emotional maintenance are traditionally "women's work". But hasn't it long been at least a little bit true that straight American men need women to dress them? That while adolescent boys may deliberately affect a style, the adult man tends to rely upon a woman to make and keep him presentable?

This seems like an outdated postwar cliche, but I've known many a heterosexual couple where the woman, to some degree, remains aware of and maintains the man's fashion. More so for the most gender-confirming but commonly at least a little.

And let's step back further and look at one of the enduring gender narratives: "Behind every successful man there is a woman". Men are trained to expect that a woman will make them whole, women are trained to cultivate a man.

So maybe this is all traditionally "women's work".

From this perspective, then, this is all of a piece. The makeover requires not just the appearance but some substance of life competency. The queer eye for the straight guy is the coaching of these skills. Women aren't cast in this role because this is all too familiar, and that would be missing the point. Instead, this show reveals how desperate contemporary straight American men are without this support and portrays a slice of the world . . . where women don't end up doing it.

It's an escapist fantasy because it elides the financial realities, it's an escapist fantasy because there aren't enough gay men to go around, and it's an escapist fantasy because most of the straight men who need these skills aren't watching the show.

Again, I've not seen the show. Maybe Laurie Penny is pushing her thesis too far. Maybe I'm adding insult to the injury. But this sure rings true. The show doesn't portray women as coaches because that would be banal; the show is a makeover show because it steps into its subtext sideways.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:17 AM on July 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


Ahh. Our reaction to that was not so positive. See also the one where he had to bring in a ringer to make pasta.

The ability to say "I don't know much about this type of [think I like], let's learn about it together" or "you have way more experience than me, so you should take the lead" are also normal and respectful attitudes that toxic masculinity tries to wring out of men's psyches. Modeling those practices is fairly central to what he's doing.

When I defer or show esteem to someone else, that doesn't make me a failure, even though toxic masculinity frames both as weakness. That's why I like Antoni's ability to do both. In several episodes, Karamo will explicitly talk about goals for personal growth and healing, and the other four guys will often model those behaviors. I think that's very interesting-- both see and tell in one narrative arc.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 10:27 AM on July 26, 2018 [36 favorites]


Regarding taking their clients to more expensive stores than they might be able to afford on their own, I think it's worth remembering that surely Queer Eye has a budget of its own to consider. So for the Camps, where they were doing a lot of work on that house, and helping out with a whole family to an extent, versus just one guy, yeah, they're taking that dude to Target. Their budget will stretch farther that way, and it'll show him he can look nice and take care of himself even when limited to his own budget. But the couple that works in Walmart and lives in a trailer or whatever: well, why not blow some of the budget on nicer clothes for that guy? They can't buy him a new house, but they can get him nicer clothes, and show him what shopping at non-Goodwill options is like when Tan is there to walk him through it and make sure he feels supported, instead of going in alone and feeling like he doesn't belong, or even never going at all.
posted by yasaman at 10:47 AM on July 26, 2018 [6 favorites]


I remember all the fuss about the episode with Skyler.. Then I read this. He was very much aware of who his audience was and also that 5 days of show was edited into one hour. I took away a much different (and positive!) impression of the show and that episode based on these comments of an actual makeover person on the show. (as compared to the grar I was seeing on twitter and possibly here)
posted by sio42 at 11:02 AM on July 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


That's why I like Antoni's ability to do both

Ehh... that’s the fault line I guess. If you think of him as a dude who knows how to slice avocados and nothing else it seems like a dodge to avoid getting unmasked.

But your interpretation is nicer, I say go for it.
posted by Artw at 11:12 AM on July 26, 2018


...And he probably gets an undue amount of flack for teaching basic snack making skills when there’s another guy there whose purpose nobody can divine. In terms of immediate practical usefulness the crew is very much guy who rebuilds your house for free > guy who buys you a wardrobe > guy who give you a haircut > avocado slicing > ??? mystery guy???

I mean, they’re all part of the shows whole thing and it’s about the narrative not physical rewards, but if you could pick any one of them and one of them only to help you out it’s going to be in that order.
posted by Artw at 11:18 AM on July 26, 2018


I like Antoni. I like his energy, it's quiet and respectful but also very smiley and young. Part of casting a show like this is to have five different energies to work together, and play off each other. Five Tans, or five Jonathans would be too much.

I honestly don't care if he teaches anyone to cook or not - the teaching aspect of this version of the show seems very downplayed compared to make-over reality shows I have watched in the past, like What Not to Wear. I don't think the show is about teaching specific skills (Bobby doesn't teach anyone anything - he has a team in to do work) so much as a synergy of hopefulness and positivity.
posted by Squeak Attack at 12:36 PM on July 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


If its me choosing, I am absolutely having one week long self-esteem sesh with Karamo, followed by friendly cooking chat with Antoni.

Mainly I love that Netflix has given us this and Nailed It, which are arguably the two of the kindest, friendliest shows ever made.
posted by threetwentytwo at 12:42 PM on July 26, 2018 [9 favorites]


The mystery guy, if you mean Karamo, is a licensed social worker who sits down with the guest to talk about what's going on with him and his interiority, fyi. I AM TOO FAMILIAR WITH THIS AS A BORN AS FEMALE PERSON. the fact that he's called 'mystery guy...' that just makes me chuckle on too many levels
posted by yueliang at 12:42 PM on July 26, 2018 [27 favorites]


yeah, i think Karamo is as great as the French Tuck is dumb. . . like not understanding why Karamo is there makes me wonder if were even watching the same show.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:49 PM on July 26, 2018 [6 favorites]


" Karamo's worked as a social worker."

I didn't know this, OMG now I love him even more. He's so perceptive and smart!
posted by Tarumba at 12:58 PM on July 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


But the couple that works in Walmart and lives in a trailer or whatever: well, why not blow some of the budget on nicer clothes for that guy? They can't buy him a new house, but they can get him nicer clothes, and show him what shopping at non-Goodwill options is like when Tan is there to walk him through it and make sure he feels supported, instead of going in alone and feeling like he doesn't belong, or even never going at all.

My concern isn't so much for "let's blow the money in the QE budget at a nice place because we can and Walmart guy deserves it", my concern is more "when Walmart guy has to update his wardrobe 3 years from now becuase things got worn out, he might think that the expensive places are his only option". If he had also gotten a little more emphasis on "here's how to look for quality on a budget and make the dollars stretch" that would have also been helpful; but it felt more like he got "ew, Goodwill" shade thrown his way and that may have left him with a false impression.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:07 PM on July 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


....I may also be a little annoyed that when Walmart Guy said that his style icon was Frasier Crane, Tan seemed horrified - but I was sitting there thinking "wait, what the hell's wrong with that?"

And actually, I still don't get why that's a bad thing. Wallmart Guy wasn't actually LIVING UP to that aspiration as of yet, but I don't get why that was a bad aspiration to have.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:09 PM on July 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


And it's like oh, when a Man Says It, or in this case Five Fabulous Men Say It...

I think this is both a) a totally valid criticism/annoyance but also b) a thing the show is modeling for men: go out and reach out to other men and don't just assume it's women's job to do it.
posted by capricorn at 1:18 PM on July 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


but the French tuck is bullshit.

But of course all fashion is bullshit and no matter what you wear, someone's gonna hate it. In fact, no matter what you wear, there's a tumblr dedicated to making fun of you for wearing it.

The main thing is picking a look that you like and owning it. And that's usually a lot easier if someone you respect says, "Yeah, wear that. It looks good." Helping someone to deliberately choose something to wear and feel confident wearing it is way more important than what exactly it is they wear.
posted by straight at 1:22 PM on July 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


(I mean, it's very funny that anyone could simultaneously believe; 1. It is possible to be wrong about whether French tucks look good; and 2. The star of Queer Eye is more likely to be wrong about this that I am. Surely if anyone is "wrong" about this it's much more likely to be you, right?)
posted by straight at 1:46 PM on July 26, 2018


I mean, in the sense that the president of the United States wearing his tie down to balls level means that that is a great look, sure
posted by ominous_paws at 1:52 PM on July 26, 2018


Much like art and memes, fashion is often self-reflective and meta. The folks into it often go deep into little details and variations that don't really make sense if you don't know what it's riffing on.

At best, the "French Took" is today's level 7 of fashion, being taught to guys who're at level 0 and need help getting to level 1. At worst, it's a silly trend that requires an otherwise excellent fashion sense to pull off, and is managing only to make these guys look slovenly even in their newer, better-fitting clothes.

When someone knows nothing about art, Duchamp's Fountain isn't a great place to start. I think a lot of folks have this niggling feeling that the French Tuck is sort of similar, and that's why it gets derision.
posted by explosion at 2:00 PM on July 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


the French Took

Well, it's good to get into the hobbit of paying attention to one's wardrobe.
posted by ominous_paws at 2:02 PM on July 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


The main thing is picking a look that you like and owning it

I agree with this, but think the French Tuck is being used as a sort of aversion therapy in this case.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 2:02 PM on July 26, 2018


I felt like the French-Tuck was being used a LOT and am still not clear on why. But that said as a lady person who can’t really be called a style icon, I’ve known about it for years - I think I first ran across it in the amazing You Look Fab.

I don’t think of it as especially challenging - it seems to be easier to explain than things like how to mix prints. I wonder if it’s being used a lot because while it’s a small thing it’s apparently still on-trend, and signals care and attention to dress without being a beautifully tied ascot or something that those in recovery from toxic masculinity might find too alarming.

However it doesn’t really suit every person or every outfit - IMO - and when it’s not done well it’s far worse than the alternatives.

I’d be happy to discuss further with Tan. Maybe over Prosecco and crostini. He can contact me via me-mail. I would love to understand this better.
posted by bunderful at 2:44 PM on July 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


"b) a thing the show is modeling for men: go out and reach out to other men and don't just assume it's women's job to do it."

Except that it's deliberately and explicitly gay men doing it for them, which undermines the notion that this is something well within the grasp of the average cisgendered straight man, had he even the vaguest notion it was important. Yeah, it's men, not women, coaching them, but that's inadequate if what is necessary is for cisgendered straight men to, you know, get a clue and get to work. They're still being coddled.

"The mystery guy, if you mean Karamo, is a licensed social worker who sits down with the guest to talk about what's going on with him and his interiority, fyi. I AM TOO FAMILIAR WITH THIS AS A BORN AS FEMALE PERSON."

It's also very sad and an indictment of our society.

More broadly speaking, in our culture so many people, women and men alike, are in need of what a social worker could provide. But it's no doubt more alien and apparently unavailable for men because, for women, it at least falls in the bailiwick of the kinds of things they recognize as possible and, in fact, as necessary.

Speaking as a disabled man who has difficulty with very basic functioning in numerous respects, I have no sense nor an imagination for the scope of what needs to be done or what is possible to create a foundation upon which I could build these other three sets of skills. I have the sense that there's a large array of institutional help available, as well as some personal therapeutic guidance to discover ways to empower myself from this position of disability. But although I don't expect (and, when it happens, I resist) a woman coming along and offering to do these things for me, somewhere in the back of my head is this idea that other people (especially women) just sort of know how to do this stuff but it's essentially out of my reach. I feel completely defeated.

I mean, I can talk about my interority and with you about your interority for hours on end -- that's not my particular masculine deficit. But I definitely have a learned helplessness that is rooted in my lack of role models of men doing emotional labor that is viciously synergetic with the genuine, serious disabilities I face.

Penny is at pains -- rightly -- to emphasize that this plight of the hapless contemporary cisgendered, straight American man is relatively minor, all things considered. But when it intersects with ways in which some men face other, much more substantial institutionalized barriers, the combination is more debilitating than the sum of its parts.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:05 PM on July 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


Except that it's deliberately and explicitly gay men doing it for them, which undermines the notion that this is something well within the grasp of the average cisgendered straight man, had he even the vaguest notion it was important

Maybe "Straight Eye" is the next step on this journey ...

Penny is at pains -- rightly -- to emphasize that this plight of the hapless contemporary cisgendered, straight American man is relatively minor, all things considered

This plight affects not only the straight men but also the straight women who would like to not be single but can't stand the idea of doing all the housework and emotional labor, and despair of ever finding a man who will not only pay lip-service to the idea of equal partnership but will actually come through. As is clear from my Ask history this may not be my only barrier to lurve.
posted by bunderful at 4:29 PM on July 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


I mean, in the sense that the president of the United States wearing his tie down to balls level means that that is a great look, sure

I mean, sure, if you think your fashion sense is equally likely to be better than Tan France's or Donald Trump's.
posted by straight at 4:40 PM on July 26, 2018


I’m not sure how valid this “should they give them these expensive clothes they could never afford” discussion is when most of their eventual new wardrobe is provided by H&M.

Also, Antoni is a former actor who pivoted to cooking so I’m not really surprised his recipes are a little basic. But it’s fine, the guys getting made over probably couldn’t replicate anything too fancy.
posted by BeginAgain at 6:18 PM on July 26, 2018




If you listen to an episode or few of Jonathan Van Ness’s podcast you will quickly come to realize that behind all the “she’s cute”s is an incredibly incisive mind. In a different timeline he could easily be running for high office. In this one, he’s using his desire to beautify the world in a pretty profound way that I hope inspires other people to find the way that they can channel their own personality and skill set into advocacy and education.

I work at the cosmetology school he attended and I think about that a lot when I look at current students. They might just go off and do hair or they might go off and burn down the system and build it back up, but prettier.
posted by padraigin at 7:33 PM on July 26, 2018 [25 favorites]


Antoni 's interview on jvn' s podcast changed my feelings about him.
posted by k8t at 6:18 AM on July 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


Jvn's podcast is incredible.
posted by k8t at 6:18 AM on July 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


The last time The Whelk's article was linked we were all revealed as undercover assassins! I'm not falling for that again.
posted by Emmy Rae at 6:25 AM on July 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


In a different timeline he could easily be running for high office.

He's young, I'll keep my hopes up for this.
posted by Emmy Rae at 6:26 AM on July 27, 2018 [7 favorites]


For whatever reason Netflix won't let me watch S1 so I ended up bingeing half of S2 while on the couch yesterday, and even then my strongest response was "Stop trying to make the French tuck happen, Tan!"

I guess I'll jump in and defend Antoni, too: I feel like on original QE, the guy would learn some complicated dish to cook--and yes, it was usually promoted as "this will make your girlfriend want to sleep with you", but I feel like either the guy would fuck it up when doing it on his own (sometimes to the groans of the QE guys when watching at the end) or you got the sense that this would be, like, one dish they'd cook one day a year. I really like that, from what I've seen, Antoni is emphasizing much more accessible and useful and repeatable stuff, like, "here's how to make healthier pasta when you're doing the family dinner 2x a week" or "here's how to do something that will help your wife when it's her turn for dinner." And I definitely liked, "there is no way I'm telling an older Black woman what to do in her own kitchen"

Ditto to Karamo--I thought taking Leo (the Mexican bartender dad) to the dad's group with the kids, and gently ushering him around and sort of showing him how to make basic conversation with other dads at the playground was actually really helpful and creative. I think it's really easy to see when someone gets their bedroom and bathroom redone, but Karamo has a much harder job to find something that will help someone's anxieties in just 5 days.
posted by TwoStride at 6:47 AM on July 27, 2018 [12 favorites]


For me Karamo is the greatest of the current five. He moves in mysterious ways but he can definitively transform the show's subjects. Not all the time, but certainly sometimes.

Also I asked a friend who's owned a clothing and fashion boutique for fat folks, and whose sense of style I appreciate, and she observed that the French Tuck can introduce asymmetry to one's look, which is a fashion aspect traditionally perceived as on the femme side of fashion. Otherwise she has no opinion on whether it's good or a fashion equivalent of a mullet.

But given that I, nonbinary, trans, mostly masculine, have no objection to doing or performing femme things, I may just keep this mullet or do it on occasion.

And more generally, it seems to me that that's partly what the whole point of the show is. It exposes dudes to some femme things and behaviors. Taking better care of oneself and family. Taking better care of one's space. Having it look better. Presenting oneself better. Being more social. Making better social networks. Tending to one's social, mental, and emotional health. Stuff that certain kinds of dudes (and some women and trans folks) have somehow forgotten or lost track of or neglected or even, in the process of pursuing manliness, have been somehow encouraged to drop.
posted by kalessin at 7:07 AM on July 27, 2018 [6 favorites]


I loved the article. At the same time, I agree:

1. Antoni gets a lot of shade, and to be honest, the number of people I know who just flat out can't cook? These recipes are meant to be so, so very simple, and there's even a moment in a second season episode where he shows someone how to make Persian tahdig, and gets a little irked that the dude knew a lot more about cooking than he let on, in the back half where they observe their charges running with the lessons, in the way that many would get irked at realizing they could have taught something much more interesting and difficult.

2. I... don't know any gay men who hate the show. None of the queer folk I know hate it. They all kinda like it. The only gay man who I know who didn't want to watch it? He didn't want to watch it because, like me, he grew up in Georgia and he knew too many people like the Trump cop. I certainly love the show, but who knows, since I'm technically a straightish woman now?
posted by anem0ne at 8:54 AM on July 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


I’m not sure how valid this “should they give them these expensive clothes they could never afford” discussion is when most of their eventual new wardrobe is provided by H&M.

Really? That is in no way clear on the show, and I think it is to the show's detriment. We see Tan bringing these guys into high-end places to look at stuff, and then we see the clothes in the closet; it's easy to assume that the high-end places are thus where the clothes come from. And that could intimidate the viewer into thinking "okay, high-end places are the only way I can get clothes that look good."

If they get the clothes from H&M, why not show them shopping at H&M, is my argument.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:12 AM on July 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


If you listen to an episode or few of Jonathan Van Ness’s podcast you will quickly come to realize that behind all the “she’s cute”s is an incredibly incisive mind. In a different timeline he could easily be running for high office.

During the final episode of the second season, you can pretty clearly make out JvN telling their makeover mayor, Ted, that he's been rooting for Jon Ossoff (eventual loser of the special election in GA-06). It was such a sad note for the end of the season.
posted by gladly at 9:23 AM on July 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


I actually got curious and sat down last night and watched the Nailed It! crossover (because I'm familiar with that show) and the first episode, the one with the black woman, and like...

I kind of burst into tears from how much I liked it? And I am sort of astounded that anyone could fail to see the value Karamo is bringing to the situation, and appalled that someone could see the way that Antoni stepping back to allow Mama Tammye the respect of her experience as just face-saving for not being able to do his own job.

Like, there's a class dimension there that is huge between these dudes from the city and a lower-middle-class black woman from rural Georgia. There's all these aspects of how she runs her home and her appearance and her everything that they could absolutely have been really quite cruel about, particularly, and they took pains to be very respectful and very kind. You don't tell a woman like that how to cook: she's clearly used to cooking in large volumes for church events, for one thing, she clearly knew what she was doing in a kitchen and had a whole lot of opinions and experience with what's good and what isn't, and like...

the whole point of this show is supposed to be helping people who need help, and Miss Tammye did not need help in her damn kitchen. She didn't even need much help in her own house, except that she needed someone to help her son with a little support and a little community insight for places she can't go--and by the way, Karamo's careful, gentle guidance there! what the hell do you mean, "the mystery one," the man's acting as a short-action therapist!--and they provided help there. And they were able to identify the help she needed and wasn't asking for, which is the help to view herself as worthy of... nice things. Looking nice. Feeling nice. Being loved. Wearing a lovely hat. Enjoying the fruits of her labor in her community. Self care, in a way that goes far beyond just buying better things--nothing they bought for her, if they bought her things, looked in any way out of keeping with her style or what she was used to or out of place in her community--but instead focuses on fostering one's joy in oneself as well as in others.

I've met an awful lot of people like that lady. Miss Tammye reminds me most of one of the cafeteria workers from my undergrad (at the University of Georgia!) who is similarly beloved, and I find that they are often appreciated for their work and, well, overlooked when it comes time to reap the yields and benefits of that labor. And more, they don't get as much respect as they should, and they certainly don't get any respect for their expertise, for the deft way they handle labor and make difficult tasks look easy, and they generally do so much to make folks feel warm and at ease that if you aren't looking closely, it looks like they're not doing much. So for me, Antoni telling her what to do in that kitchen like she didn't know exactly what to do with one--like her eating so much fast food was driven by lack of knowledge or anything other than straight up exhaustion from running herself ragged--for me, that would have felt utterly disrespectful to her. I was in fact delighted to see him yield gracefully to her. Completely delighted to see that modeled on television.

And I was so pleased, also, at Bobby and the effort he had clearly gone to to identify that she could use this hand and extend it to her--I don't see too many good ol' white boys who go to those lengths for black ladies, not even their neighbors. It was great to see this big dude beaming in the background and clearly beside himself with enthusiasm for Nice Things Happening For Miss Tammye.

clearly I need to get my ass to Fanfare
posted by sciatrix at 1:12 PM on July 27, 2018 [31 favorites]


and!--and!--if a dude like Bobby hovering enthusiastically in the background isn't also casually showcasing straight white men doing this work unbidden and doing it well, I don't know what is. I'm pretty sure they made a deliberate choice to casually include several scenes with him for that specific reason.
posted by sciatrix at 1:18 PM on July 27, 2018 [7 favorites]


Yeah, this won't be my highest value contribution ever but Kamaro absolutely does contribute, massively.

Probably my favourite development in s2 was Bobby sneakily turning into the late-season MVP, from the competent but possibly less interesting member to perhaps the team's angriest and least compromising. Love Bobby.
posted by ominous_paws at 1:43 PM on July 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


If they get the clothes from H&M, why not show them shopping at H&M, is my argument.

I would agree with this but also think there is some value to bringing someone who may not feel deserving of very nice things into the space of very nice things, and showing them that cut and drape etc. are not impenetrable fortresses of magic.

All of this to say I think they should take them to the fancy stores for a tutorial (high-end clothing being a more reliable demonstration of good quality than H&M, which is very scattershot), and then take them to an H&M to show how it translates to fast fashion.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 4:10 PM on July 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure if it's purposeful or not, but they seem to make an effort to highlight small men's botiques so it might be an effort to promote local business too
posted by Think_Long at 4:19 PM on July 27, 2018 [10 favorites]


I’ve always assumed on shows like this that the store locations are driven by sponsorship or by stuff like that particular store actively trying to get featured as a location or at least being responsive to whoever is in charge of scouting out locations and wrapping up what’ve right paperwork and planning is necessary. They probably have to sign off on their location being a little tied up for at least a few hours with cameras and crew and their staff probably have to sign off on being on camera.

Just a guess. Some of Stacy London’s “Love Lust or Run” store scenes - I wondered if they were shot after hours because there’s often no one in the store besides Stacy and her charge. And presumably someone to ring them up.

Would be really interesting to learn how these decisionss are really made.
posted by bunderful at 8:53 AM on July 28, 2018


I’ve always assumed on shows like this that the store locations are driven by sponsorship or by stuff like that particular store actively trying to get featured as a location or at least being responsive to whoever is in charge of scouting out locations and wrapping up what’ve right paperwork and planning is necessary.

Yeah, it's pretty clear that paid sponsorship factors pretty heavily into where they go and what they buy - they seem to go to Bonobos a lot, and in the one episode where the guy was proposing to his girlfriend, the person at the jewelry store pretty clearly pushed him toward a collection of rings by a company that had paid (their logo was featured pretty prominently). But then for other things they blur out logos.

Not that this is shocking or even a problem, really, all 'we're going to give you free stuff' reality shows operate that way.
posted by Ragged Richard at 9:58 AM on July 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


there's even a moment in a second season episode where he shows someone how to make Persian tahdig, and gets a little irked that the dude knew a lot more about cooking than he let on

For anyone who hasn't seen this episode yet-- this wasn't just because of Antoni's role as the food guy-- it was because this dude spent his entire episode pathologically lying to all the guys about his life and his experience and WHETHER OR NOT HE WAS EMPLOYED, and part of the arc of the episode was about him learning to be honest. All of the guys seemed annoyed by it.

Teaching someone a basic cooking lesson and then finding out later that they are deft and experienced in the kitchen and KEPT LYING ABOUT IT the whole time is super disappointing, even aside from the dish he ended up cooking. He was clearly showboating his showy knife skills for the cameras as a sort of "ha ha gotcha I actually CAN cook" reveal at the end, knowing Antoni would see it, which was a real dick move.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 6:39 AM on July 30, 2018 [11 favorites]


Just wanted to defend the French Tuck as it has helped me keep my pregnancy low-key for now 5 months and counting.
posted by like_neon at 7:18 AM on July 30, 2018 [6 favorites]


Regarding product placement, every time I see the first few minutes of the show, I think QUEER EYE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY GMC.
posted by craven_morhead at 8:49 AM on July 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Thanks for pointing out JVN's podcast to me. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it because I like him but I find high-velocity campyness kind of exhausting. His podcast is great! Perfect length and really interesting.
posted by PussKillian at 10:50 AM on July 30, 2018


I’ve always assumed on shows like this that the store locations are driven by sponsorship or by stuff like that particular store actively trying to get featured as a location or at least being responsive to whoever is in charge of scouting out locations and wrapping up what’ve right paperwork and planning is necessary. They probably have to sign off on their location being a little tied up for at least a few hours with cameras and crew and their staff probably have to sign off on being on camera.

So, I don't have insight into the stores, but one of the restaurants (Cooks & Soldiers, in S01E02) likely didn't pay so much for the sponsorship; it's already a well-regarded and known restaurant in the Westside of Atlanta.

For the choir featured in S02E01, OurSong, they also did not pay for exposure (the choir head, Robert Glor, was a teacher of mine in high school) and actually it ended up he had to do a bunch of legwork to find space to film and get the rights to the songs they used (things a producer is supposed to have done...). The show reached out to him first, and it sounds like they hinted that the son was the one getting the makeover, not Miss Tammye.
posted by anem0ne at 11:55 AM on July 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


I *think* the subject for s2 e1 had to change at the last minute, which could explain that final point - and also why it was one of the shakier episodes? (I know, I know, if only I had some sort of machine on which i could verify this information)
posted by ominous_paws at 12:55 PM on July 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


I don't think it was shaky (I really liked the episode and I was bawling like a baby at the end) but it definitely broke out of the regular Queer Eye format.

The main subject was a woman, first of all. Secondly, the person that nominated her didn't necessarily think she needed "making over" but she just deserved to be treated like a Queen for once because she did so damn much for her community. Then because she is so lovely, she redirected the Fab5 to focus on helping them finish the community center in time for Homecoming. I think they then brought the son under their wings because how could they not (gay and self-exiled from the church community because of that). Antoni didn't advise on cooking because see above comments it wouldn't be appropriate, but he acted as sous chef and turned out her macaroni salad for 200. But the other guys actually did overtime because they counselled both of them, took the son shopping and got Tammye a new outfit for Homecoming, gave both of them updated hair styles, and finished off the center as well as redo her bathroom. And on top of all that I would say Bobby actually went through a journey too, facing his negative experiences with his own church and Tammye was just as integral in helping him on this path. And on top of that, her final speech to the boys practically broke Antoni, something about God knowing and loving them even before they were born (which, as a lapsed Catholic, is what broke me down too).

So yeah, very different from the standard QE format. I personally wouldn't call it shaky though.
posted by like_neon at 1:48 AM on July 31, 2018 [9 favorites]




From the link above because it is so good:

What would your message be to LGBTQ+ people struggling?

To my LGBT people, you are uniquely important to God. God loves you. He loves everybody the same. If God designed every single body with a purpose with the love that he had, then he put that love in everybody. I feel like, sometimes people try to put God in a box. “Oh, he loves these people more, he loves this group more, oh, he can’t love this group.” But God, my son used the word “amorphic.” You can’t put God in a box. Your relationship with God does not depend on other people. It’s vertical. It’s not horizontal. That’s what I want them to know. Go forward with the gift that god gives you. Live the best life, and live it in sight of, what are you here for? What is my purpose for humanity? He loves you. He loves you from your head to your toes. Your relationship doesn't depend on other people’s temporary opinions of you.

Oh, Mama Tammye, you gem!
posted by like_neon at 1:54 AM on August 14, 2018 [2 favorites]




From that link, JVN:

Luckily a lot to extreme right people won yesterday, meaning that if we can come up w center left candidates we can take back the house & senate, not to mention many state legislatures. It is so important for the left to not go too left or we are done for.

So at best he's an accelerationist, only worse, because he is looking for things to go horribly so they can return to the status quo, not even as a route to a better future.
posted by Dysk at 3:09 AM on August 17, 2018


Imagine being that desperate to have something bad to say about a fluffy makeover show.
posted by asteria at 4:30 PM on August 20, 2018


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