Arts and Culture Editor
Associate Arts and Culture Editor
The Netflix reboot of “Queer Eye” follows the fab five, who are Tan, The fashion Expert, Antoni, The Food and Wine Expert, Karamo, The Culture and Lifestyle Expert, Jonathan, The Grooming Expert and Bobby, The Design expert. Together, these powerful and lovable team of gay men go to the lives of Americans or heros and help them get their lives together.
This season they help people with issues ranging from self confidence to even loving yourself. Although they only stay with each person for a couple days, the results they achieve are literally life changing. They have rebuilt lives one fabulous makeover at a time. They are entertaining and enthralling to watch, but they always focus on making sure they help their hero stay true to themselves.
We may not have Fab Fives pop up in our everyday lives, but the show very much teaches that we be our own self advocates and super heros. This is a lesson that is universally relevant because whether you are LGBTQ+ or straight, we are all human and we all deserve love and acceptance from others and ourselves. Here are some of our favorite moments from the new season!
One of the most powerful lessons I found in episode one is that fashion is specific to each person, and is more about what makes us as individuals feel confident and powerful than what society tries to dictate for us as “the norm”. In the case of the woman, Jody, Karamo says “Feminity is whatever she wants it to be, it’s whatever feels the most confident in beautiful”.
This episode focuses on a woman named Jody who is a country girl at heart who commonly wears Camouflage outfits as she lives a more rugged lifestyle with her husband, Chris. Through her time with the Fab Five she learns that sometimes she can feel a little more feminine while also staying true to herself. One of the most powerful examples of Jody’s transformation is in the scenes with Karamo, the Culture and Lifestyle expert. Karamo realizes she is struggling a bit in feeling confident in herself.
To liven her up a bit, Karamo takes her to meet a diverse group of women who help her realize that there “isn’t one way to be a woman”. As she talks to these confident and strong women, Jody realizes she is strong and that it is okay to open up and connect with others. In her time with the fashion expert, Jonathan Van Ness, Jody gets to walk in heels as she realizes that while being strong, it is also important to take care of yourself.
We all can relate to this idea of trying to be the best version of ourselves, while still sticking to the norms of society. This can be hard for everyone, yet the Fab Five’s lesson to Jody of staying true to yourself is one that will never go out of style.
Episode three, ‘Jones Bar-B-Q’, had one of the most touching moments in my opinion of the whole season. Sisters ‘Little’ and ‘Shorty’ are fierce Bar-B-Q pros, but both themselves and their business could use a boost. These women clearly have drive and passion for their business. However, they’ve not taken enough time for themselves lately. Enter the Fab Five. While there are humorous and endearing aplenty in this episode – from Antoni fiending over what the Jones’ Bar-B-Q sauce recipe is, to the sisters playing fashion show with Tan – it is the emotional moments that made this one stand out to me.
When Tan and Jonathan take Mary to the dentist to help her start smiling confidently again, I was bawling. The catharsis this woman experienced feeling free to laugh and emote without inhibition was infectious. Additionally, the sisters grew their business together by deciding to start bottling their famous sauce to be sold in stores. The sauce is very personal to them because it was their father’s recipe.
When they saw the bottles and knew they were carrying on their father’s legacy, the pride was overwhelmingly evident. Little and Shorty not only got to give themselves some self-love with the help of the Fab Five, but they also invested positively in growing their business.
Episode five, ‘Black Girl Magic’, tells the story of a young queer black woman named Jess who identifies as a Lumberjack Lesbian. After being disowned by her adopted family and living on her own since age 16, now 23 year old Jess has faced more adversity than most her age. She lives with her newfound family of supportive friends. However, she spends so much time helping others that she never really gets time for herself.
The Fab Five come to help her have confidence in herself, but also how to give self love after all she has given others. Karamo takes Jess to the iconic Kansas friends of Alvin Ailey Dance Studios. It is there where Jess gets to see strong and proud black woman. As she is overwhelmed with emotion, she is inspired by this experience and wants have more confidence in her own black and queer identity.
Tan also helps with her self-esteem greatly as he helps to dress Jess in outfits that flip the lines between masculine and feminine in exciting ways that still feels true to herself. In our world, fashion can easily be fun and androgynous. Although it is sadly not encouraged, sometimes just having on a more androgynous jacket with a shirt can make you feel strong and powerful. Fashion is ultimately an avenue for each person to express themselves. This is a lesson Jess wholeheartedly embraces.
While Karamo and Tan teach Jess about self expression, Antoni teaches her how cooking is more than just a daily ritual. It is also a gift capable of bringing connection among others. He teaches her how to make a Ramen Noodle dish that is sure to have viewers swooning for a spoonful of this mouthwatering soup. While the other fab five members teach her self-love, it is Bobby and Jonathan that ultimately give her a new start.
Jonathan gives Jess a new haircut that makes her feel reborn while Bobby helps her reconnect with her sister in a cathartic moment that is incredibly raw and heartwarming. As the Fab Five finish with Jess, she emerges out of her time with them as a strong, confident, and caring queer woman and role model for us all.
Although there were many more highlights and individuals featured this season worth noting, these were the most memorable moments to us. “Queer Eye” is breaking down gender barriers, and teaching viewers that it isn’t our differences which define us. Ultimately, we all need a little love and care once in a while. Treat yourself to this season. Learn some new cooking tricks or positive mental exercises. Heck, try out that french tuck, because things keep getting better.