So, season three of Queer Eye is up on Netflix, and if you still haven’t watched it yet, I want you to reconsider your life choices. Kidding. But honestly, you shouldn’t sleep on it. The third season was so good, I finished it in one night. You can read our review on why it’s the most relatable season yet.
The Fab Five truly is a blessing to us mere mortals, I don’t know what we did to deserve them. They worked their magic yet again in the newest season and we had a lovely chat with Fab Five’s grooming expert Jonathan Van Ness, food and wine expert Antoni Porowski, and fashion expert Tan France about it. Read on to find out their take on femininity and masculinity, the misconceptions surrounding self-care, how to effectively connect with other people, and more.
On femininity and masculinity
This season, Queer Eye had more female heroes. In episodes one and five, they met Jody Castelluci and Jess Guilbeaux, respectively. Jody loves to hunt and works as a prison guard in an all-male prison. She’s always been “one of the boys” so to speak. Jess, on the other hand, initially described herself as a butch lesbian. The Fab Five showed both women that femininity and masculinity is more a myth they shouldn’t necessarily box themselves into. “To me gender is not about your outside. Masculinity and femininity is about your spirit,” Jonathan told us. “And it’s about your personality and the energy that make up who you are; like this energy that you have naturally.” He further insists it’s “a very socially constructed thing” he just doesn’t believe in. As we saw in those episodes, classifying some things as “feminine” or “masculine” is unnecessary. Just be who you are, don’t let society’s labels limit you.
Queer Eye has always been an advocate for self-care. The Fab Five has shown us that if people can take better care of themselves, it could profoundly impact their lives. Most of the heroes in their show are too relatable—they tend to forget about themselves because they’re too busy, or they just don’t believe it should be a priority. Jonathan clears, “I think the biggest misconception about self-care is that by spending your time on [it], you’re taking away your time from others. [And] that helping yourself is somehow selfish when in reality I think that when we help ourselves we’re able to better serve and be more in there for those in our lives.” In conclusion, he said, “So actually, I think that self care is really giving back to your community as much as [you’re giving] back to yourself because the better we think of ourselves, the better we can take care of those around us.” Amen! So the next time your colleague says something about you taking a break, you know how to answer.
On their most challenging makeovers
For Tan, there were many moments that have been difficult, especially in his field of expertise. He has often been met with a sort of resistance from the heroes on items he wants them to try. “I think that’s why they get stuck in a rut is because they’re so strict on what they will wear.” He adds another difficulty is the fact that “Every person’s body shape is different.” Sadly, evident to our society’s standards, he confessed that he found “Majority of our makeovers quite difficult.” Especially for plus-sized heroes, he revealed that there are limited choices for them as they don’t fit in the “standard size range.”
As for Antoni, he shared that Jess’s makeover was particularly difficult for them. “I feel like when we came in, we saw her as this strong independent woman who has overcome such adversity, but she didn’t see herself as that at all. And I think it was just a reminder that the way we view people is very often not the way that they view themselves.” He adds, “Just a reminder to always just leave with kindness and positivity and to really focus in on the positive because we’re there to fix a lot of things that we have expertise in. But we also have to remind them about all the amazing things they already have going on in their lives.”
On how we can help other people
Everybody has problems. And yes, it would be awesome if the Fab Five can work their magic on us all. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way, and not everyone has access to these five amazing fairy godmothers. So if you see a friend or someone you feel like you want to help—you know, someone you want to nominate, but at the moment, it’s not possible—here’s one tip from Jonathan: “Let them come to you.” Antoni explains further that, “You can’t force somebody to change, they have to be willing to do that themselves.” He adds, “I think another important part is not underestimating the power of shutting up and listening; of just asking a question, lending a hand, and then really listening to what that person has to say.” He also shared that what has worked for them in the past is when they connect to people, they’re not afraid to become vulnerable themselves. “For me, I think the more comfortable that I’ve gotten doing this, I think what I realized from seasons one and two is, the most meaningful interactions that I had are the ones where I opened up more about my personal life.” So in case you’re planning to channel the Fab Five and help other people in your life, remember that yes its about them, but you have to be willing to open up too. And of course, always practice empathy.
On their dream makeover destination
The Fab Five has been in different cities, doing their thing and slowly making the world a better place for us all. We can only wish for them to be able to cover everywhere. But what cities are they most looking forward to? For Tan, he reveals, “I think that the place that I would want to go most is home to Manchester England.” He said, “I think that there are a lot of people who aren’t as open minded as I like them to be and I think they can use more exposure to just how beautiful the gay community is.”
As for Antoni, he would like to focus on a place connected to his roots too. “I was born in Canada but my family is all Polish and I was raised filled with a lot of Polish culture. And what’s going on right now [there is an] opposition support for LGBT education and people are saying that it’s a threat to Polish culture and it shouldn’t be blocked wherever possible. It’s kind of a really scary time for a lot of Polish LGBTQ+ youth. So it would be nice to just go there and show them that we’re not going anywhere.”
Jonathan, meanwhile, is game for anywhere. But one places he’s eyeing? Palawan. “Can I just go to the gorgeous beach. Like everyone’s so beautiful. Instead of doing makeovers, I just want to enjoy the beautiful beach. And Manila’s so beautiful and interesting, let’s go to Manila and and say hi.” He also revealed that it’s not entirely impossible he’ll take his comedy tour here in our shores.
Yass, honey! We are so looking forward to that. In the meantime, you’ll find us here, bingeing and re-watching all the seasons until the next one comes along.