Queer Eye for the Lying Guy

I kind of dropped out of faithfully watching Queer Eye for the Straight Guy each week for what seems like a couple of years, not because I stopped liking the show, but because the incessant repeats made me tired of tuning in to watch the same thing I’d already seen all or part of once, twice, three, even four times before. Now that I’ve decided to sink my hooks into comedienne Kathy Griffin’s My Life on the D-List, which immediately precedes Queer Eye on Bravo’s Tuesday-night lineup, I’ve gotten reacquainted with the little style show that can and does.

The July 4th episode of Queer Eye was interesting most notably because Design Doctor (and, yes, that’s his official Queer Eye title) Thom Filicia was missing in action for the first part, replaced by the ever buff male supermodel and actor Tyson Beckford. The Four Homos and a Hetero then took it upon themselves to assist 25-year-old Jesan H., a New York City bike messenger and male model wannabe.

Sure, Jesan was hunky in a model-ly sort of way, and, of course, the Gay Guys and a Male Supermodel went out of their way to lavish all kinds of spectacular necessities on him: a personal face-to-face with a successful and hip Manhattan agent, photos with an ace fashion photographer to help jumpstart his previously non-existent portfolio, a cushy new waitstaff job at a cushy New York eatery and model mecca, and assorted electronic gadgets to get him to his go sees (fashion industry speak for going to see potential clients in person so that they can view you in the flesh and determine if you have the right look for them) on time and in style.

So, how did the blessed-from-above Jesan show his gratitude and thank the guys for all of their hard work? By lying.

The show ended with Jesan going on his first ever go see as a bona fide male model. Stop numero uno was the prestigious GQ magazine headquarters. While waiting in reception, one of the other male models present asked how long Jesan had been modeling. Instead of answering honestly that he had just started that day—a remarkable feat worthy of pride, given how far he’d progressed so quickly—Jesan up and fibbed that he’d been modeling for some time. Geesh!

Jesan then went on to lie about his modeling experience again and, possibly worse, not remember the admittedly long and involved name of the famous photographer who took his spectacular debut snaps (I can’t even remember it, but then I’m not the aspiring model he photographed) when the GQ bigwigs inquired.

All of this makes me wonder: Are the everyday people who appear on such reality-based shows completely unaware that the whole world is watching them when they do stuff like that on camera? I mean, it’s not like you’re telling a little white lie in the confines of your own home, where there are presumably no recording devices to publicly document everything you do for eternity.

The Queer guys, restored to five after Tyson took off, chalked up Jesan’s behavior to shyness and nerves. I don’t know. It seems more to me that you would be on your absolute best behavior if you knew your actions were potentially going to be broadcast to millions of people around the globe for an indefinite length of time. Moreover, the fashion industry, like most, if not all creative fields, is a buzz industry driven by gossip, rumors, and what others know about your business. Does Jesan really think those GQ folks are not going to find out about his Queer Eye exploits? Duh.

So maybe Jesan is just incredibly naïve, doesn’t care, or lies on a regular basis. If the last and his deceptions on Queer Eye were tamer than usual, I’d hate to think what he’s like when the whole world goes away.

Re: Episode 219 | Model/Messenger: Jesan H | 4 July 2006

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