Powerlifter Angel Flores Featured on Season 6 of Netflix’s “Queer Eye”

Flores teamed up with Queer Eye's Fab Five to transform her aesthetic and mindset outside the gym.

On Dec. 31, 2021, season six of the hit reality television show Queer Eye was released on the streaming platform Netflix. The show follows the “Fab Five,” a team of five lifestyle specialists who spend a week with individuals nominated to the show to overhaul their lives in positive ways. From new wardrobes and renovating living spaces to reconnecting family members and loved ones, the Fab Five aims to help individuals feel grounded in who they are and get them closer to who they aspire to be.

Episode two of the show’s sixth season, titled “Angel Gets Her Wings,” featured Angel Flores — a 22-year-old trans Olympic weightlifting coach and powerlifter with two competitive victories in USA Powerlifting (USAPL) competition. Cameras entered Liberation Barbell Club in Austin, TX, where Flores trains with her coach, Vinny Vela-Pulido. Vela-Pulido and Flores’ girlfriend, Katia Marissa Pineda, nominated Flores. Flores puts on wrist wraps, hits a warm-up clean & jerk, and coaches someone through a heavy deadlift within the first two minutes of the episode.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Angel Flores (@_.arkangel_)

[Related: Jon “Jujimufu” Call and Joey Szatmary Do 43 Sets of Squats With at Least 330 Pounds]

Angel Flores

At the time of the episode’s filming, Flores had only competed in her debut powerlifting competition — the 2021 USAPL Iron Triathlon, in the MX Division. According to Open Powerlifting, Flores earned gold with the following stats in the 100-kilogram weight class:

2021 USAPL Iron Triathlon — Angel Flores

  • Squat172.5 kilograms (380.3 pounds)
  • Bench Press — 105 kilograms (231.5 pounds)
  • Deadlift182.5 kilograms (402.3 pounds)
  • Total — 460 kilograms (1,014.1 pounds)

Since then, Flores competed in her second sanctioned meet — the 2021 USAPL Austin Fall Frenzy on Oct. 23, 2021, earning a second gold medal with the following stats:

2021 USAPL Austin Fall Frenzy — Angel Flores

  • Squat — 175 kilograms (385.8 pounds)
  • Bench Press — 107.5 kilograms (237 pounds)
  • Deadlift — 185 kilograms (407.9 pounds)
  • Total — 467.5 kilograms (1,030.7 pounds)

Flores improved upon all three big lifts to set four Texas state Junior records in the MX division.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Angel Flores (@_.arkangel_)

[Related: Watch Strongman Martins Licis and CrossFit Games Champ Justin Medeiros Deadlift Heavy Together]

The Fab Five

The Fab Five consists of the following five lifestyle coaches and their expertise:

  • Jonathan Van Ness — Grooming
  • Antoni Porowski — Food & Wine
  • Karamo Brown — Culture
  • Tan France — Fashion
  • Bobby Berk — Design

During the introduction portion of the episode, Van Ness read Flores’ profile on his iPad:

Outside the gym, Angel is extremely self-conscious about how she presents herself in public and she still shies from most public spaces out of fear of rejection.

The Fab Five met Flores while she was training paused deadlifts with a barbell loaded with 250 pounds. They learned that Flores got into powerlifting through her time on the Olympic weightlifting team at the University of Texas (UT). The show cut to a confessional with Flores, who reiterated her discomfort with shopping for anything other than groceries. Flores experienced anxiety when trying to maneuver her way through clothes shopping and the potential judgment she may endure while picking out clothes that fit her athletic body type. Flores said she’s “built like a fridge.”

Van Ness was the first expert to work with Flores. Van Ness styled Flores’ hair and applied her make-up at the Raven Row Salon. Flores, who admitted to never doing any self-care before, burst out in joyous laughter upon seeing her new hair and make-up in the mirror for the first time.

I don’t know who this is. This is somebody else. Wow.

Flores left the salon and met up with France to shop for clothes at Dylan Wylde. They delve into Flores’ struggles separating masculinity and femininity when dressing herself. Flores expressed the insecurities she feels about her body compared to other women she sees when shopping. France quelled some of those feelings by reframing how to encounter those situations.

I would just like you to be kinder to yourself when you look in the mirror.

Flores’ second look was a sporty top paired with high-waisted jeans and heels. The look showed off her curves while also highlighting her muscular physique. As was the case in the salon with Van Ness, Flores was overcome with emotion as she spun in front of the mirror in her new outfit.

Twelve hours ago, I could never have seen her there. This is a dream. I had no idea I looked like this. I love every square inch of what I’m seeing.

Following her time at the salon, the clothing store, and the furniture store with Berk to select various items for redesigning her apartment, Flores met up with Brown, who helped her reconnect with her father. Brown moderated a conversation between Flores and her father that helped him better understand Flores’ transition.

[Related: Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard Will Be the First Openly Transgender Athlete to Compete at the Olympics]

During an apartment-warming party in Flores’ redesigned home, Flores showed her first-place medal from the 2021 USAPL Iron Triathlon to her father. He hugged her with tears in his eyes and expressed his regret for not being at that contest, but how proud he was that she accomplished it. Three weeks later, Flores trained with her father at the Liberation Barbell Club.

Featured image: @arkangel_ on Instagram