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Lessons from Queer Eye

I blame my mother for my dabbling in metro-sexuality. The actual I-kid-you-not dialogue went like this:

“Gideon, I don’t know how you manage with cuticles like that.”

“Mom, men don’t have cuticles.”

Now I realize that both genders have cuticles. Whereas they seem to be equally useless, it is only with women (or at least with my mom) that they would actually require attention. Cuticle creams, sticks and files are all necessary for proper cuticle care. The only reason I know this is because of the metro-sexual trend.

Though I myself have known only rural-sexuals, the growing trend of persons who choose to engage in intercourse with large metropolitan areas has been expanding. From Debbie Does Dallas to Dave Barry Does Japan, metrosexuality has been confirmed as a viable orientation.

But never has it been as popular until the show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. This show has had a wide range of effects beyond making me realize the topography of my nails.

The entire premise of the show goes like this: An average slob is somehow able to get in contact with five professionals who lend their caring, holistic and creative approach to improving their lucky client’s living conditions and lifestyle. But first they ransack and destroy everything he’s ever accumulated. To me, this is the most exciting part of the show. It’s kinda like an action movie. They tear up couches, throw clothing out of windows, crack jokes and generally ridicule the straight guy’s life. This is probably the worst televised damage that gay men can inflict on a breeder. Outside of Oz, at least.

Then, with several thousand dollars of the sponsors’ money and products, they are able to rebuild everything within two days. The only thing I can think of to compare to it is “Queen for a Day” meets “The Bionic Man” (Congratulations! We can rebuild you! Stronger. Faster. More stylish.)

But here’s the thing that gets me. Never mind that the slob’s more clueless about fashion than your average sedimentary rock. Never mind that he usually lacks basic hygiene. Every straight bachelor on earth is like that.

The point is that we don’t mean to be total Neanderthals. We just were never taught anything about these skills we so desperately need. Don’t believe me? I’ll prove it.

At some point in every guy’s life he was told to clean up his messes, eat his vegetables, dress nicely for work and to basically be an okay human being for the sake of Jesus, or more importantly, his mom. But never, never ever, ever has mom ever explained how to make a room seem larger by the arrangement of furniture. This has important implications. Whereas guys simply choose to ignore the many things about health and dress that their parents have told them, interior design simply slipped under the radar. At some point you had a crib, then eventually a bed, a dresser and some posters. In the outside world, the procedure is to focus the room around the entertainment center and/or bed. We never knew about the interior design stuff.

That’s why Thom Filicia, the interior design guy, is the most fascinating to me. You’ve probably seen him on Pier One commercials even if you don’t watch the show. In my opinion, he does the best work out of all of them. While the fashion guy is basically a distilled version of FoodTV, the biggest reaction comes after the straight guy sees his house redesigned. Thom seems to be the one most in touch with what the slob had always hoped for, but could never achieve. When the straight guy walks through the door he looks like he just won the lottery, a bitchin’ pad and an art gallery at the same time.

Thom’s honest too. On the Bravo website, his quote is “This room is just... stupid.” Kurt Vonnegut calls interior design the only art form that improves people’s lives. Queer Eye can improve your dorm room too. That is—if your cuticles can handle it, wuss.

Gideon Weinerth is a Pratt sophomore. His column appears every other Tuesday.

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