Learn To Love Yourself, Queer-Eye Edition!
Time for a mental makeover in true Fab 5 style.
Netflix’s hit original, ‘Queer Eye’, is coming back on our screens in November with its Japan season and boy, are we excited! Get ready for new makeovers, fresh tears and the usual Queer Eye hip tips.
Karamo Brown, Tan France, Bobby Berk, Jonathan Van Ness, and Antoni Porowski make up the Fab 5 and every season their duty is to empower each individual and get them to remember their inner strengths, beauty, skills and worth. The world has a way of bringing us down and reminding us of our imperfections. What we should be doing instead is reminding ourselves of just how incredible we really are, rather than being conforming to society’s definition of “perfect”.
As such, Queer Eye is so much more than just your typical makeover show. It goes against the grain by deliberately crippling societal pressures through the vessel of ordinary people who become extraordinary by the end of every episode.
In honour of the Fab 5, let us remember five of the very best Queer Eye self-love messages ahead of the new season, while also making a pact with ourselves to take these into our day-to-day lives henceforth.
Psst, spoilers ahead...
Don’t feel guilty for treating yourself every now and then. You deserve it.
Often times we are told that it is selfish to put our needs before others. That there are people who need our help more and that our problems aren’t as important as theirs. Sure, but that kind of thinking can end up hurting you in the long run. You’ll find yourself caught up in other people’s business and forgetting about your own hopes and dreams.
In truth, it’s absolutely fine to say no every now and then and instead focus on yourself. As lovely as it is to take care of others, you also need to be taking care of number one. If you’re not 100%, how can you give 100% of yourself to others?
“Without Further Ado” (Season 4, Episode 1) deals with this in the form of Jonathan’s ex high school music teacher, Miss Dooley. Having worked at the school for almost four decades, to the point where it is rumoured that she has a cot in her office, it was high time Miss Dooley learned to put herself first. The team revamped her hairstyle (one that she had been sporting for almost 20 odd years!) and taught her some important self-care tips.
We can all learn to get a new hairdo every now and then just to remind ourselves of how good a pampering session truly can be.
"How you take care of yourself is how the world sees you. It's OK to have a relationship with yourself." - Jonathan Van Ness
Don’t be ashamed to show your vulnerabilities.
It’s hard to open up to people and show them a side of you that you’re so used to bottling up. As time goes on, it gets easier to just pretend like everything is fine. The idea of letting go of the walls that you’ve worked so hard to keep up is a scary one.
Eventually the weight on your shoulders will get too much to handle on your own. Opening up will not only relieve you of that weight, but it will also bring you closer to others. We are all entitled to our off days and, as such, being emotional and vulnerable is absolutely normal and completely human.
“Lost Boy” (Season 3, Episode 2) focuses on camp director Joey who has, over the years, lost touch with himself. He doesn’t shower, he lives out of a messy caravan, and he doesn’t care to dress any differently than his usual attire of camp clothes. But the point of the episode isn’t to berate Joey’s lack of hygiene so much as it is about getting him to open up. This is a man who has overcome addiction and is working hard to be the very best father he can possibly be to his son. It takes a lot of hard work from the Fab 5 but eventually they get Joey to realize this truth and be candid with his son about it.
Moral of the story? Don’t run away from your inner demons. By opening up, you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to talk than hide.
"When people build up walls, they end up keeping other people out. But they're also keeping themselves in." - Karamo Brown
Getting out of your comfort zone is healthy and positive for your growth.
Trying new things and doing things we aren’t used to (or any good at) can be extremely unnerving. Isn’t it much easier to get into a routine that works for you and just sticking to it? Sure, but how do we progress and grow as individuals if we are always doing the same things? How will we ever discover new things about ourselves - the things we didn’t realize we loved or enjoyed - if we never pushed the boundaries? Experimenting with new things, whether it’s clothes, hobbies, food etc, will naturally enlighten us and in turn make us stronger.
“Sloth to Slay” (Season 3, Episode 7) focuses on a gamer called Thomas who lives with his sister. Thomas doesn’t seem to go out much, if at all, or have many friends. His 21st is fast approaching and it seems Thomas would rather game all day than do anything fun to celebrate himself. Under that veil, however, is a young man who aspires to be like Donald Glover. Throughout the episode, the Fab 5 encourage Thomas to express that side of himself, and eventually get him to meet new people who are into anime much like Thomas himself.
We know we are more than what we appear but to realize that we have to push beyond our comfort zone. You’ll find you’re a lot happier in that space than the one before.
"Even if you're not ready to live at your full volume, turn it up halfway and get there.” - Bobby Berk
Forgiveness is a tool for healing.
When we continually remind ourselves of past regrets and mistakes, we hold onto a version of ourselves that simply isn’t true anymore. No matter how hard you try to reform or move forward, by holding onto the past, you’ll never let go of that person you used to be. Learning to forgive yourself, as well as forgiving others, is a powerful healing tool that can get you to where you are supposed to be in present day.
“Disabled but Not really” (Season 4, Episode 2) focuses on Wes Hamilton’s incredible story. Once a “bad boy”, he is now reformed, having turned his life around after a shooting left him paralyzed from the waist down. The most delicate and poignant moment in the episode is when Karamo arranges for Wes to meet the man who attacked him. Wes shows his strength by extending his forgiveness to his attacker. The pair of them are able to acknowledge their faults and move forward. Wes is the owner and founder of “Disabled but Not Really” (which the episode is titled after), a company whose goal is to inspire the disabled community into doing things that others have said they cannot.
This is the story of a man who goes from zero to hero, and much of that is down to his reformation, his ability to make peace with his past, and the forgiveness in his heart. Imagine the peace in our hearts if we all took heed.
"It's hard to make up for the mistakes, but you can make up for it." - Tan France
Don’t let your insecurities hide your beauty.
It’s so easy to come for your looks and outward appearance that eventually you forget about all the things that make you, you. We think our insecurities are written on our forehead and that everybody can see our drawbacks as clearly as we see them. In a society so obsessed with physical beauty, it can be really hard to judge ourselves on anything but. The crazy thing is, you are beautiful in your own way, and beautiful to those who matter. Your strengths and qualities shine brighter than your looks and it’s important every individual remembers that.
“You Can’t Fix Ugly” (Season 1, Episode 1) set the tone for all that Queer Eye was to become. Our protagonist is a man called Tom who, while happy to enjoy the simple pleasures in life and the company of his dear wife, believes himself to be so ugly that you can’t fix him. By the end of the week, however, the Fab 5 transform him in ways that leaves the viewers stunned. It’s not that they turned an ugly man into a handsome one - it’s that they showed Tom the beauty that was actually lying underneath all his insecurities. The Fab 5 saw it and then eventually so did Tom and the world.
Peel away the layers and you’ll soon find that your beauty goes a lot deeper than skin.
"What I've learned is that living in public life... it's impossible to have everybody like you. No matter what you do." - Antoni Porowski