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A Queer Eye for Capitalism

The Commodification of Sexuality in American Television

Author(s): Yarma Velázquez Vargas
Subject: Cultural Studies

Book Description

This study uses critical discourse analysis to conduct an examination of the reality television program Queer Eye. The goal is to help understand the manner in which the representations of queer culture in the show reinforce the binaries of sex, gender and sexuality. By investigating the evolution of Queer Eye this study provides insights into American popular culture’s understanding and depiction of sexual difference and evidences the strong link between these representations and the commercial interests of the producers.

In the show Queer Eye, the male guests sell access to their lives for a makeover and in the process they are indoctrinated into new patterns of consumption. The identity of both the five main characters and the guest character is represented as a reflection of their aesthetic choices, and audiences are exposed to numerous product placements and advertising messages. In encouraging materialism, the show transforms the term queer into a commodity sign and redefines masculinity as represented through wealth and accumulation. Moreover, consistent with the stereotypical representation of gay males in American culture the queerness of the Fab is depicted as asexual and a form of aestheticism.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-2279-4
ISBN-10: 1-4438-2279-5
Date of Publication: 01/09/2010
Pages / Size: 130 / A5
Price: £34.99


Dr. Yarma Velázquez Vargas is Assistant Professor in Chicana/o Studies at California State University, Northridge. Her research interests include gender, queer studies and Latina studies. Her current research explores issues of media representation and sexuality. Her current work examines the needs of Transgender Latina Immigrants in Los Angeles.