I never watched Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Not once. I have no idea whether the information offered was good, bad or indifferent. I just couldn’t get past the Queer Guys themselves. I admit this freely. One commercial was enough to send my brain into a fetal position and make me long for a Luddite existence sans television. I don’t know why they bugged me so much, and I certainly can’t say anything against them as individuals, but I just couldn’t wrap my brains around them.
Since – for some reason I can’t begin to explain – Carson Kressley was the only one I could identify by name, he came to annoy me the most. This was in no way something I’ve ever been proud of. It was prejudice, pure and simple, and I’m deeply ashamed of it. I am, however, big enough to admit my flaws.So, in the name of fair play and an effort to make myself a better person, I decided last night while my menfolk were gone and not going to scream if they walked into the room while it was playing, to try out How to Look Good Naked. With two episodes playing back-to-back, I figured either I would get over my Carsonfear or it would be permanently ingrained because of actual reasons rather than random gut reaction. In other words, I knew it would be Good For Me, so I bit the bullet and went for it.
Let me now go on record as saying that while I still find Carson Kressley an irritating presence on my television, and I found one or two of the tactics used a bit unsettling (Projecting pics of women in their underwear on the side of a high rise building…was there no other way of getting candid views from people in the street? I keep thinking there must have been another tactic that would have resulted in equally effective reactions without going quite that far) I think he’s doing something remarkable and long overdue by making this show. If it was his idea, then I honestly admire him for it. If it was someone else’s idea and he was willing to be the host, I still have to give him kudos. This is a somewhat risky show. There are so many shows about how to fix your body, why you aren’t good enough, and how your life is a pathetic waste if you wear a ‘huge’ size 12, that this is a real breath of fresh air.
I think the most telling exercise of the program was having a line of women standing in the order of largest to smallest measurement in the area the subject considered her worst problem and having her place herself in that line. One woman mentally added six inches to her hip measurement, while a woman who hated her body because of her ‘enormous’ breasts added some three inches to her bustline in her own eyes. The light bulbs clicked on when they realized how badly they’d been beating themselves up over nonexistant figure ‘flaws.’
I probably won’t watch the show again because I think I’ve learned what I can from it and because I really don’t enjoy watching Carson Kressley reinforce gay stereotypes in his personal behavior…but that’s me. If you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend you try it at least once. If nothing else, it will probably have the same effect on you that it had on me: I went straight to my largest mirror, took off my clothes, and started looking for what was best about my body.
What did I see? I saw firm upper arms despite the fact that I clearly remember listening to the Watergate Hearings on my radio; great skin tone; pretty eyes; nicely proportionate legs with slender ankles; sleek hair with a great color and no grey – naturally, no less; a nice oval face with a lot less chins than I had a couple years ago before I started making an effort to become healthier; a terrific swan neck that actually makes me look taller than I am. I saw attitude. I saw humor. I saw a beautiful woman well worth knowing. Far more than the body, I saw a person I really like shining through because I was looking for what was positive.
So do me a favor. Whether or not you decide to watch the show, head to your mirror, shuck the layers, and look for what’s wonderful about your body. Not only will you see something amazing in your body, you’ll get a great glimpse of the best parts of your personality, as well. Then come back here and tell us all what you saw that you loved.