I watched the ten-year reunion show for Queer Eye For The Straight Guy over the weekend, and I have to say it was such an eye opener.
A lot has changed in ten years!
Although I was a big fan of the show, I had completely forgotten how breakthrough this show was at the time. Five gay men hanging out and giving advice to straight men was a major cultural shift at the time. We have to remember that ten years ago it still wasn't necessarily cool to be "out," and straight guys weren't really looking to make friends with gay guys. At least not so publicly.
And guys were not talking about personal grooming issues with each other either -- like back hair, the unibrow, or skin care. And there 'taint nothing like the visual inch. The Fab 5 basically launched man-scaping, much to the delight of many a woman I might add. This is now a natural part of the younger generation of guys, gay and straight. We've seen the boy cultures collide, this show being just one of the many reasons.
I had also forgotten, that this show basically put the Bravo network on the map. This is way way before The Housewives franchise, way before we knew Andy Cohen. This show launched not only a cultural phenomenon, but also a channel and a few careers. It even had a theme song that became a big dance hit.
I have to admit that I shed a few tears while watching the reunion show. Watching how lives were transformed, and how these "straight" guys really quickly built relationships with these five "gay" men is nothing short of amazing. Guys got engaged with their girlfriends, reengaged with their wives, connected with their homes, and of course amped their personal style to get more out of life. They became better versions of themselves, and appreciated it ... and opening their eyes along the way.
I was left with the feeling that I wanted the show to come back! Given how much more receptive our culture is now, it would perhaps be even more transformative. Or was that truly what made it magical at the time? Perhaps that was the emotional draw and impact. It sure was for me watching the reunion show.
What's your experience? Jim.
- President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
- Author, The Experience Effect series
- Professor, NYU
- Contributor, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post
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