Yas, Queen! Zhuzh It, Henny!

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This thesis examines male homosexual representation in Bravo’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (2003-2007) and Netflix’s Queer Eye (2018-present). In the first chapter, the general concepts of representation and male homosexual representation on American television since the 1960s are discussed by using Cedric Clark’s four stages of representation. The second chapter covers the theoretical approach that is used to analyze Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Queer Eye, focusing on the concepts of heteronormativity, homonormativity, and stereotypes. Chapter 3 concentrates on Bravo’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. First, background information on the series is provided and then an elaborate analysis of the content of the series follows. In chapter 4, the same is done for Netflix’s Queer Eye. In chapter 5 the similarities and differences between both representations are discussed. The outcome of the comparison entails that Queer Eye for the Straight Guy was groundbreaking in its time, but presented a limited and stereotypical image of homosexuality. Queer Eye has, through the focus on identity and personal stories, been able to paint a more comprehensive picture of homosexuality. Ultimately, in chapter 6, the conclusion is drawn that much has changed in the representation of male homosexuals in American (reality) television, and that Queer Eye for the Straight Guy enabled tolerance for homosexuals, whereas Queer Eye strives for acceptance. Key words: media representation, homosexuality, heteronormativity, homonormativity, stereotypes, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Queer Eye, Clark, stages of representation
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