Full disclosure: My reasons for writing this article may include the hours of ‘research’ I had to do by re-watching all 3 seasons of one of my favourite shows. Who knew I could love make-over montages so much? Like thousands of other Queer Eye fans, I can’t get enough of the super charming cast and the hair, wardrobe and life transformations they carry out every episode. Most of all, I cherish the heart-warming moments when you can feel the genuine impact the fab five have made on the lives of the people they make-over, or ‘heroes’, as they’re fondly called. Along with the real-life heroes from the show, I have been diligently taking note of all the stellar advice the Fab Five have bestowed upon us. I have also installed a browser extension that changes every ‘yes’ I come across on the internet to ‘yas’, but that’s beside the point.
1. Gender roles are like, so passé
Clearly, the fab five have no time for gender roles, especially the ones that hold people back from living their best lives. Grooming and self-care can often be seen as traditionally feminine activities, but how unfair is that for men?! These practices not only make you more physically attractive, but they offer a ton of psychological and emotional benefits, like the burst of confidence you get after starting your day with a few quiet moments of grooming, or the relief of putting on a face mask at the end of a long day. Resident beauty, hair and grooming expert Jonathan van Ness never shies away from offering grooming tips to their male and female heroes alike, and he customises their routines based on their lifestyles and preference, rather than gender.
- As Jonathan sees it, restrictive gender-based rules about how we should behave have no place in our lives, in the way we take care of ourselves, and our relationships with others. When well-meaning but clueless Tom from their pilot episode (Season 1 Episode 1) asked Bobby whether he was ‘the girlfriend or the boyfriend’ in his relationship, Jonathan dropped some major wisdom: “I get that as a gay man a lot. It’s like, who wears the pants? Even with hetero(sexual) couples, I think more and more, those lines are blurred. Whatever role you are in, whether it’s moon or sun, with moon being more feminine energy and sun being more masculine, I think there’s gorgeous strength to be had in both.” That ridiculously poetic moon or sun line? I’m stealing it to explain the increasing irrelevance of strict gender roles to my grandparents.
2. Your physical space mirrors your mental space, and bother are important
your space matters to your mental health! creating a pleasant environment for yourself is key to feeling safe and happy 🤗 pic.twitter.com/WNERDvMdQv
— Queer Eye (@QueerEye) April 27, 2019
First, I want to take a moment to geek out about the most underrated member of the team: design and home expert Bobby Berk. Apart from being a gifted designer who turns out life-changing home and space makeovers week after week, he’s consistently kind and empathetic, and deeply involved in both the emotional and physical aspects of home-building. His heart-baring discussions about how our mental health and living or working space influence each other reveal an insight that many people could benefit from, after all, the hardest times in our lives are usually also the times when we just don’t have the time or energy to keep our space clean and tidy. But perhaps, it’s worth making an extra effort for. Baby steps can go a long way – as Bobby recommends, try cleaning and tidying for 5 to 10 minutes a day. It will prevent things from piling up and keep both your room and mind clutter-free.
Taking the small steps everyday to organize your home will help you feel excited for life and prevent those icky overwhelming feelings.🏡 pic.twitter.com/qUewTB58I6
— Queer Eye (@QueerEye) April 8, 2019
3. Colour Correctors Are Your Secret Weapon
Aside from their profound advice and words of wisdom, the Fab Five share countless style and beauty tips and tricks that are designed to fit perfectly into our busy everyday lives. Not everyone has the time (or energy) to perfectly blend out a full face of foundation every morning, and not everyone likes that amount of coverage. Jonathan shared his favourite tip for targeted coverage that’s faster and lighter: Colour correctors! Different colours are suitable for different skin tones and skin concerns, and they can be a easy way to add coverage without adding product. I have been guilty of caking layers of concealer under my eyes to cover the stubborn shadow that just won’t quit. If you have a similar struggle with dark hyperpigmentation, try peach or salmon toned correctors layered under concealer. For sallow complexions, a touch of lavender corrector is best, and for redness or rosacea, a green corrector can work wonders. Take it from the expert, Jonathan has recommended green colour-corrector over 5 times on the show! And remember, with this product, a little bit goes a long way.
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4. Try Unboxing The People You Meet
One of my favourite things about Queer Eye is the real diversity among the people the cast choose to make-over. They never shy away from having genuine, soul-baring conversations with their heroes, even if they sense a fundamental difference between themselves and the person they’re meant to help. Case-in-point: Tan France, the show’s fashion specialist, candidly shared his fears about gun-ownership with Season 3’s first client, Jody, a federal corrections officer, hunter and gun-owner. While it was obvious that Tan was nervous about broaching this line of conversation, he was excited when Jody responded with, “You can go to a garage sale around here and get a gun. Gun laws need to be stricter, they need to be tighter. You need to have more training.” There’s a lesson to be learnt here – our desire to put people into neat little boxes is human but misguided, and an open conversation with someone you think you won’t get along with might just surprise you.
5. French tuck… everything.
I’m not trying to say Tan invented the French-tuck, but actually yas that’s exactly what I’m saying. Fine, the half-tucking style (you only tuck in the front of the top, letting the back hang loose) may have been around for ages but Tan had a big role in popularizing it again by slipping it into nearly every episode. While Tan’s French-tuck obsession has been memefied over and over, who can blame him for recommending it? After all, the French-tuck is an effortless, everyday styling tip that can elevate a simple outfit in a snap. Firstly, it can help clean up your look without making you look too crisp or uptight, something a full tuck can do at times. On the other hand, a no-tuck can make an outfit look sloppy, especially if you’re wearing baggy on baggy. A French-tuck is a happy in-between that draws in your waist, streamlines your silhouette and gives you that bit of added edge. And, well, if Oprah is into it, you know it’s good.
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) April 11, 2019