Talking About Money, Netflix Edition: How Watching Queer Eye Might Make You Rich
Viewing makeover shows like Queer Eye through the lens of transforming your relationship with money might lead to more conscious earning, spending and saving. And in the long run this could make you rich.
Okay, before we begin, I want to tell you that I did not mean for this to be a clickbait title. I thought long and hard about what I should call this blog post and I could not come up with an alternative title that I liked as much. So thanks for indulging me, and let’s get on with the post:
Am I suggesting that sitting around and watching Netflix is going to make you into the next Bill Gates? Nope, sorry. But I do want to spend a few moments discussing my new favorite show on that streaming service, Queer Eye.
How it all started, and why all the crying?
I am not your average reality show watcher (though I will admit to past preferences to Dancing with the Stars and The Amazing Race). And I don’t think that I have watched a makeover show since Oprah did the occasional makeover episode back in the 80’s. But a few people that I follow online kept talking about Season 2 of Queer Eye so I decided to try it out, starting with Season 1. And I am so glad that I did.
Before I started watching Queer Eye I didn’t get the tissue box imagery on the home screen before each episode started. I get it now. The people who are made over by the Fab Five appear truly and genuinely appreciative for their transformation. Who knew that changing one’s wardrobe, skin/hair, living room decor and/or cooking skills could change their lives? It is a sight to behold.
The one who brings it all together: Karamo Brown
Karamo Brown is the “culture” expert of the Fab Five. While I do understand that finding the right word to describe Karamo’s role on Queer Eye challenging, I like to think of him at the life coach of the team. A trained social worker, he gets to the all-important “whys” of the participant’s willingness to be made over, shown through a series of endearing conversations in each episode. Do they want to show more self-respect for themselves? Are they trying to show another person how much they love them? Karamo’s easy manner invites the participants to open up about their hopes, dreams and motivations.
Once he has built their trust he goes in with the powerful questions, oftentimes leading to some important insights on behalf of the participants. He is so smooth that I want to take notes on his technique. And when the answers start revealing themselves to the participants that is when the tissues come out.
So Why Queer Eye and money?
When I am watching Queer Eye I am constantly making parallels between how the participants interpret their relationships with their clothes/hair/living room/cooking skills and think to myself, “I wonder what would happen if Karamo asked them about their relationship with money?” Since money is so much more of a personal topic than any of the others, I can only imagine the “deer in the headlights” looks that the participants would give him. But if you follow my line of thinking, this makes sense.
Here are the themes in the show: Never pay attention to how your body looks in clothes and end up in saggy t-shirts and sweats? Suffer. Don’t pay attention to the special needs of your skin and let it get red and blotchy? Suffer. Never pick up around the house and then don’t want to invite your friends over for a get-together? Suffer. After a long day drive through the fast food window for a quick bite that nourishes neither your body nor your soul? Suffer.
So how about this theme: Avoid your money issues – whether it be not earning enough or spending too much – and get to a place where you are out of control? Suffer.
When I am finished watching an episode of Queer Eye I am left with this strong feeling that the Fab Five wants everyone to strive to be a better version of themselves, the same way they bond with each episode’s participant and cheer them on to the next chapter of their lives. Others might watch Queer Eye and see it through the lens of lifestyle porn, as if a quick shopping spree or room makeover will fix all that ails you (see “Queer Eye Opens the Miraculous Gay Wallet”). While I appreciate this take on the show (the room makeovers sometimes do make me swoon) I am more focused on the personal transformation that each participant goes through, one that embodies more self-acceptance and self-love.
And if these feelings could inspire viewers to practice more compassion with how they interact with money – so that they are more conscious about their earning, spending and saving – maybe someday they might indeed feel rich themselves.