For the last six months, millions of Americans have tuned in every week to watch the exploits of an unlikely band of superheroes... the stars of the breakout hit "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."
On "Queer Eye," a hapless heterosexual male benefits from the cultural, grooming, culinary, design, and fashion expertise of the five gay males. (Hence the title.)...
Cultural conservatives rightly see "Queer Eye" as yet another attempt to situate homosexuality and the accompanying lifestyle within the American mainstream....On the other hand, some gay activists, Andrew Sullivan among them, view "Queer Eye" as a kind of gay minstrelsy. In this line of thinking, Americans have embraced the Fab Five because they confirm the worst stereotypes of gay men and, as such, do not pose a threat to the cultural status quo.
I think both sides are right but that's not what I find most noteworthy about "Queer Eye." That designation is reserved for the way that the show embodies the triumph of "style" in American life. While the expression "style over substance" has been part of our cultural lexicon for decades, this is something else. It's more like "style is substance." It's the belief that all there is to a person ― and to some extent, to human institutions as well ― are surfaces.
Read this article on the Breakpoint website.