Happy Valentine’s Day kweens! If y’all are like me and don’t have any plans for v-day other than snuggling up beneath a gorgeous mountain of faux fur blankets and watching Netflix, then congrats! You’re in for a treat. While scrolling through Netflix you’ll see that Season 6 of Queer Eye: More Than A Makeover recently came out. What better way to learn about love than from the 5 queerest, fiercest, authentic-ist human beings of all time: the Fab Five. This is reality TV at its finest, henny. This show is for everybody. After all, y’all means all! No matter who you are, you can watch Queer Eye and clearly see that love is love is love is love.
The Netflix reboot of Queer Eye made its debut in 2018, and has been bolstering our self-confidence and bringing us joy ever since. It’s the kind of TV show that will open your eyes, heart, and mind to love in all shapes and sizes. The Fab Five swoop into their heroes’ lives like some gorgeous gay fairy godmothers and awaken self-love in people through grooming, fashion, food, culture, and design. For those of you that haven’t met the Fab Five, allow me to introduce you. Karamo Brown, the culture expert on the show, is the therapist we all wish we had on speed dial, as this fierce Jamaican/Cuban/Texan kween helps us to heal emotional wounds with his gentle smooth voice and powerful black wisdom. Bobby Berk, the design expert on the show, is the wry-humored, cow-kissing, fun-loving home renovation wizard who can churn out creative and functional spaces in a matter of days. Tan France, the fashion expert on the show, is the spiciest blend of British pragmatism and Pakistani pride; he manages to dress everyone, no matter their gender, age, or size, in clothing that feels authentic to them. Jonathan Van Ness (aka JVN), the grooming expert, is our non-binary (he/she/they) hair-stylist/comedian/gymnast/activist queen who is the gorgeous glitter glue that holds this collage of beautiful self-love journeys together with her miracle-working hairdresser hands, henny! And last but not least is Canadian chef Antoni Porowski, the food and wine expert on the show, whose enthusiasm for cooking is both deliciously infectious and adorably wholesome.
What I love most about Queer Eye is the indescribable warmth I feel in my heart after watching each episode. It’s this beautiful display of diverse love and acceptance that is not exclusive to one group of people. When they introduce the hero at the beginning of each episode, it is nearly impossible not to instantly conjure up a perception of who we think these strangers are. But after peeling back the layers and getting to know each hero, the “don’t judge a book by its cover” adage comes to mind. The show at its core strives to break away from the boxes that we put ourselves and others into, and shows us that when we celebrate our unique selves, love can connect us all. Relationships of all kinds – whether it be familial, platonic, queer, straight or professional – can thrive when we allow our true selves to be seen by those around us. Oftentimes those who are struggling simply need a reminder that they are seen and loved. And that is what the Fab Five do best.
Just by simply witnessing the transformation that the heroes of the show undergo during their time with the Fab Five, I feel strengthened to give myself space to metamorphosize too. I’ve learned many things about myself by watching Queer Eye: it’s inspired me to reflect on what kind of person I want to be, what kind of people I want to surround myself with, and how I can pursue my passions each and every day. It is rare to see these types of programs which exhibit love in its diverse forms that will teach us how to build each other up, instead of tearing each other down.
I hope that after reading this, you take some time to sit down in your favourite relaxing spot, either by yourself or with your loved ones, and watch (or re-watch for the 56th time) an episode of Queer Eye. Remember that taking time to care for yourself is important. JVN says, “Choosing to love yourself is so against the grain of what we’re taught, honey” and that “You are a rebel, honey, if you choose to love yourself, so let’s all be rebels!”