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Why Guy Fieri Needs to Be Taken More Seriously

Allie Gemmill is an avid writer, cinephile, Ravenclaw, and pizza enthusiast. She regularly writes on film and television with a special focus on women’s involvement & influence in Hollywood. Additionally, she has bylines at Bustle, Keyfr...

This Food Network host is more than just a meme

All righty, folks, gather 'round, because I have something I need to talk to you about. You may laugh at first, but I think it's high time, on the eve of the premiere of Guy Fieri's new show, Guy's Big Project, that we talk about the reasons why Fieri is actually a cool dude. That's right; I said it. I like Guy Fieri, and I don't care who knows it.

The thing is he's become a bit of a punchline over the 10-plus years he's been in the public eye. Sometimes, it's all in good fun, and sometimes it's just for the purposes of turning him into a caricature so we can all make fun of him. Listen, I know that it's fairly easy to find ways to take Fieri down a peg; I have to resist the temptation sometimes myself. But the fact of the matter is that Fieri is more than just a punchline, and in fact, he's actually doing some pretty cool things with his celebrity status.

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Just look at his upcoming TV show

The prime example of how cool Fieri actually is is evident in the trailer for his new show, Guy's Big Project. The flame shirt is gone (a prime example of the easiest way not to take Fieri seriously has been through his clothing), and yes, the platinum blond hair is very clearly here to stay, but this new show is proof Fieri is not about simply furthering his own brand; he wants to help others. The premise of Guy's Big Project is that he wants to give one person the chance he had at creating their own show. The trailer clearly indicates Fieri is thinking about helping give someone else their big break and using all the good fortune that's come his way to help them. That, my friends, is pretty damn cool.

He's charitable

This Food Network host is more than just a meme
Image: Giphy

Fieri is a total sweetheart, and that starts with his charitable side. One of the projects he's behind is Cooking With Kids. On their website, Cooking With Kids states that they are there to "encourage and educate young people to learn how to cook for themselves, their families and their friends, while instilling self-esteem, self-reliance, and a healthy lifestyle." Fieri founded the initiative in 2010 in the hopes of helping kids to realize their potential in the kitchen and to make better choices for their health. I mean, how freaking cool is that?

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He's a self-made man

This Food Network host is more than just a meme
Image: Giphy

Fieri is where he is today because he worked hard for it. According to The Daily Meal, "He never attended culinary school but got his bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Hospitality Management in 1990. [...] After graduating, he took a job at a popular California restaurant chain [...] before opening his first restaurant, Johnny Garlic’s, in Santa Rosa, California."

Fieri is where he is today on his own merit. While some of his endeavors have earned him bad press, he's pushed on and persevered. He now hosts multiple Food Network shows. He owns multiple restaurants. He's has his own successful cooking show. The dude knows how to work it, friends.

He's helped shine a spotlight on small businesses across America

This Food Network host is more than just a meme
Image: Giphy

Say what you will, but one of the most popular shows on Food Network, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, is essentially the best marketing a small restaurant can get. And it's not that these restaurants owe Fieri and his crew, but rather, Fieri's innovative new show spotlights these businesses and helps get them seen by people across the nation.

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As if this weren't enough, just consider the fact that Fieri is relatively scandal-free. He is a genuinely affable public personality, and he legitimately doesn't engage in any feuds or other nonsense with fellow celebrities. Instead, he does cool stuff like go on trips with his son, Hunter, where they bond over food and new locales or he officiates weddings. That's right, "weddings" is plural because in 2015, he officiated 101 same-sex marriages in Miami once the law officially allowed it because he's a damn boss, y'all.

All I'm saying is that Fieri has made success look like a cakewalk, but it's very clear he's a workhorse. He deserves to be more than just a joke, especially when it's clear he dedicates a noticeable and not-at-all negligible amount of time helping others in any way he can. Let's give him the respect he deserves, OK?

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