I have a love/hate relationship with the cable channel Bravo’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. (It’s shown on Tuesday nights at 10:00 PM EST.) Bravo has gotten immense publicity and its highest ratings ever for the show. (And NBC, Bravo’s corporate parent, is showing pared down episodes on Thursday evenings.)
In this show, five gay guys with “gay stereotype” professions (interior design, hair stylist, food expert, culture maven) take on straight guys trying to sharpen their image. It’s done with good humor, and the victims of their makeovers show remarkable openness and patience in having their lives taken apart and put back together. More to the point, the gay guys help the straight guys move to a point of improving their style, but it’s done in the context of not trying to change the basic “guy-ness” of the makeover-ees.
My problem with the show is that it’s not just straight guys who could take the advice. How many gay men do I know that need the help as much or more? I could use some assistance in organizing my life. And these boys are certainly stereotypical of A-List urban gay men. Are they truly fabulous all the time? It seems pretty one-dimensional. But then, sponsors are not interest in gay angst. They want better haircuts, no nose hair, lovely striped bass to eat, and a wonderful CD collection.
Oh well, at least we’re no longer portrayed as suicidal, except when we can’t afford to buy that perfect pair of Diesel jeans that costs $250….