Why ‘Queer Eye’ Fans Are Upset With Tan France’s ‘Revenge Body’ Cameo

The cast of Queer Eye has all been celebrated as the most affable hosts of any reality show in existence. Considering their main imperative is to help make the lives of our nation’s heroes better, it’s hard to believe any of them might have dark sides.

Well, we have to consider everyone has a dark side, no matter what good they do in life or on TV. Let’s also remember Queer Eye is a reality show, which means what we see probably isn’t entirely the truth from every perspective.

Perhaps one Exhibit A is Tan France who recently became blasted by Queer Eye fans for appearing on another reality show called Revenge Body. The premise of the show had fans questioning France’s actions, despite him going there for a very good reason.

Don’t always judge a reality show by its title

Tan France
Tan France | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Netflix

Created by Khloe Kardashian, Revenge Body has become a popular show about giving body makeovers to willing contestants. Many body positivity activists have gone after the show; however, for making it look like anyone without the body shape of a Kardashian demands a body dress-up.

Clearly, this isn’t the first time something created by a Kardashian garnered controversy. Even so, don’t always think a title of a show gives you a complete picture of everything.

On occasion, Revenge Body has some positive stories. The intention of France going there was for a meaningful story nobody thought about from the outset.

France had to deal with criticism on his social media accounts just for appearing on this show. In fact, criticism was so rampant in the comments section of his Instagram post promoting the episode that France ended up removing the comment function. Later, he gave out a careful explanation.

Tan France did the show to help a guest come out as bisexual to his father

The intention of France was to merely help one of the participants on Revenge Body have the courage to come out as bisexual to his father after fear of what the response would be. France said he’d been through the same scenario and offered his emotional advice to make it happen.

This person he helped was a fashion designer who happened to be a person of color like France. With the latter being Muslim, he’s known first-hand the challenges involving coming out gay in the Islamic community.

As you can see, this episode had all good intentions, but many were still quick to criticize France on his Instagram account for even appearing on the show without knowing the full context.

Having this happen may give a social analysis on what Queer Eye audiences expect of the hosts due to the latter presenting themselves as the most positive forces in reality show culture.

Are the expectations of the ‘Queer Eye’ hosts too high?

After turning off comments on his Instagram post, France finally explained what he was doing on the show while acknowledging the basic premise of the show goes against the body positivity Queer Eye upholds.

There seems to be a protective streak in Queer Eye fans to a point where they don’t want the hosts appearing as guests on questionable shows. There is an argument in being justified to act this way considering how much positivity Queer Eye continues giving. They’ve managed to change the entire zeitgeist to reality shows lately to a point where we’re seeing a spate of QE copycats.

Hopefully, France can put this in context, if also likely feeling more social responsibility in everything he does from now on. When you set a precedent for changing reality shows for the better, you have to adhere to it in your career decisions.

We should still remind ourselves the Queer Eye cast is bound to slip up from time to time. And this might mean messing up at life as much as guest-star appearances.