Like many people, I’m a huge fan of the show Queer Eye. If you’re unfamiliar with the show, I’m only slightly judging you. Just kidding, but not really. The premise of the show is that five Queer men (the Fab Five) show up to a nominated person’s house to help said person with the following areas of their life: Personal grooming, Home Living, Food, Culture, and Fashion. I like to live my life as if the Fab Five are watching me at all times. Kind of like Santa.
I was having a mini marathon on Netflix the other day, because being temporarily job-less (thanks, Corona!) has left me with no choice but to do so. In the episode I was watching, the Fab Five showed up to help Abby, a climate change activist who spends so much time ~saving the world~ that she has forgotten to take care of herself.
Abby looks different than a lot of 18-year old girls I know. She doesn’t like to dress up, wear makeup, style her hair, and she also has made the choice to not shave her armpits. Throughout the episode, I found myself thinking ‘She’s such a cute girl, but I wish she would just buy a razor already’.
Ugh, shame on me.
I noticed my hypocrisy very quickly. As someone who champions body positivity, I noticed how easy it is for me to be accepting of different body shapes and sizes. However, true intersectional body positivity includes accepting every body, and that includes someone’s choice on their own body hair. It also includes skin color, disabilities, gender-nonconforming bodies, and so much more.
Another thing I had to remind myself regarding my judgement of Abby’s body hair choice is that her body is not about me. As someone who has been shamed in the past for the clothes I wore and how much makeup I chose to put on, I should have been the first to realize this. The way that she chooses to get ready in the morning isn’t centered around what makes me comfortable, it’s about what makes her comfortable. Quite frankly, however she chooses to present herself is none of my business.
We all present ourselves to the world in a way that feels most like us. Whether it’s our clothes, hair, makeup, piercings, tattoos and so on, what we choose to show the world is not about others. Even the nail color we choose isn’t about others. I think of how often I’m with someone and they make a comment along the lines of “Wow, that girl should not be wearing a swimsuit like that”.
But here’s the thing:
Chances are, if “that girl” is wearing that particular swimsuit, she probably feels good in it! Is her swimsuit choice adversely affecting anyone else? Then who freakin’ cares if anyone thinks she’s “too big” to wear it, or if they think it shows too much! We don’t get a say in how others look, because how others look has nothing to do with us.
If you catch yourself looking at other people’s bodies this summer, or any time, ask yourself, ‘Does this person’s physical appearance concern me?’. As someone who has been practicing body positivity and acceptance for years now, it is still a question I often ask myself before deciding to make someone else’s body my business. The more actively we seek to challenge our own thoughts on other people’s appearance, the more natural it will eventually come.
Shave your armpits, or don’t.
Dye your hair, or don’t.
Wear the swimsuit, or don’t.
It’s none of my business!
2 thoughts on “None of My Business: Lessons from Queer Eye”
Have to agree about this! Especially about the swimsuit thing! It’s so easy done but you’re not always going to be perfect and you live and learn 💕
Exactly!! Thanks so much for reading 🙂
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