I’m an emotional guy. I cry at movies. And books. And sporting events. And sometimes in the kitchen.
So when my friends told me that I NEEDED to PREPARE myself for Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, I knew I was in trouble.
And I wasn’t wrong.
If you’re not familiar with the show, STOP. Watch it. Come back. The premise is that five beautiful, talented, gay men help one (or sometimes more) straight men (or sometimes women) find the best way to live their best lives. They help people organize their work, their home, and their lives. They help them look and feel good. And they help them come to terms with some of the challenges that they’re facing.
But what can the average person learn from watching Queer Eye?
These five things.
Honestly, I’ve never thought much about skin care. But Jonathan has changed my mind. It’s amazing that we spend SO little time, as men, on the thing that EVERYONE sees. We don’t take care of our faces in ways that we should. We don’t wash properly. We don’t use sunscreen NEARLY enough. I’ve known two guys my age (not young, but certainly not old) in the past year who have been diagnosed with skin cancer. One on their face and one on their scalp.
A proper facial regimen can LITERALLY change your life, not to mention leave you looking fabulous.
So many parents don’t do enough for themselves.
When you think about it, as a parent, so much of your time is spent caring for and about someone else. Our own personal goals, ambitions, and needs are often placed on the back burner.
And that’s sort of something we all signed up for. You can’t be selfish and be a great parent. Karamo does an incredible job on the show of helping people discover or rediscover the things that make people happy about being themselves. If you’re not taking care of yourself and you’re not happy, your relationships will suffer. This includes your relationships with your kids and your significant other.
So treat yourself. Get a pedicure. Get a massage. Have a drink (if that’s something that will help you and not hurt you).
One of the more common themes of the show is that we tend to stop working on the things that are working, particularly our relationships. That once a week date night turns into that once a month date night turns into “I don’t care, you choose the Netflix show.”
It’s easy to get monotonous in our monogamy.
But it’s not impossible to change that.
Some of the reasons we struggle with this is because we haven’t set up our lives to support these things. From shared responsibilities at home to better physical spaces to share time, working on relationships is work, but it’s worth it and it’s very possible.
In many cases, we have no idea where to start. A LOT of the people on the show don’t cook or at least don’t cook well and when Antoni talks to them about what they like to eat and what their family likes to eat, they know those answers.
But they don’t know where to start.
It’s not about becoming some master chef. The dishes that Antoni makes on the show are NOT complicated. They’re VERY simple. They just take some planning. They take establishing processes.
One of the things that blows me away is that, when Tan redoes a wardrobe, it has very little to do with the clothes. Instead, I see the confidence and pride that these men have in their appearance. I am an overweight man. I went from high school football star to university buffet star. It’s not ideal.
But when you feel like you look good, it has a huge impact on the way you feel. And when you feel good, you start to do good things. Some of those things include eating healthy and exercising. And then you look good. And then you feel good. And the cycle continues.
The wardrobes that Tan builds are not complicated. They’re not overly expensive. They’re just good looking clothes that make men feel good about who they are. And that changes everything.
You’re thinking I forgot about Bobby. Well, I didn’t.
Welcome to the bonus round.
I feel like I’m a pretty liberal minded person.
But one of the things I love is not the transformations that the guests go through, but the transformations that the hosts go through. Watching Bobby work through his issues with the church in the first episode I ever watched was so emotionally powerful.
What I’ve learned from Bobby, and the reason that I think every man should watch this show, is that we all have the wrong idea about something. As we expose ourselves to more and more intersecting views and differing opinions (shared in a respectful manner), the more we come to realize (cue highly emotional, clichéd music) that we are not that different, you and I.
Take care of yourself. Take care of the people you love. Take care of strangers. Take care.
For me, that’s what Queer Eye is all about. Taking care. Of something. Of someone. Of everything.