Five life lessons from the Fab Five of ‘Queer Eye’

The five hosts share expert advice on how people can improve their lives and rediscover their purpose.

Since 2018, the Netflix series Queer Eye, a reboot of the original 2003 reality television show, has been inspiring change and progress among its plethora of viewers from around the world.

The show garnered a huge following after featuring inspiring stories and the ability to build bridges among people of different backgrounds and beliefs, making the magic of connection, breakthrough, and progression.

Throughout the show’s seven seasons (and counting), viewers can learn a lot about life through the lessons imparted by food and wine expert Antoni Porowski, design expert Bobby Berk, fashion expert Tan France, culture expert Karamo Brown, and grooming expert Jonathan Van Ness.

Here are five nuggets of wisdom the Fab Five has taught its many fans about everyday life.

1. Skin and hair care is not gender exclusive.

In the sixth episode of the show’s first season, the Fab Five goes to Atlanta, Georgia to help Remington, a young entrepreneur who inherited his grandmother’s home—along with its dated decor—and needs help trying to find his own style.

During his one-on-one session with Jonathan, they had a conversation about grooming and taking care of yourself and how society connotes it to gender expression. Jonathan makes it his mission to let viewers see that taking care of yourself is not exclusive to a specific gender, as society has stereotyped.

“I want to show straight and gay men alike that self-care and grooming isn’t mutually exclusive with femininity or masculinity,” he said.

Queer Eye Cast

2. Cooking for one is also meaningful.

Neal, a 37-year-old programmer, plans to host a launch party for an app he developed and the Fab Five comes in to help during the show’s season 1, episode 2.

A loner who has built physical and emotional barriers to prevent people from getting too close, he joined Antoni in a restaurant to make a recipe for one that he can create for himself.

The food and wine expert also teaches Neal about how cooking for one is actually just as meaningful as cooking for others. It means you can take care of yourself, even just by cooking simple meals.

“You thought it’s depressing to cook for one. My goal is to change your mind on that,” Antoni tells Neal. “You can take care in making something as easy as scrambled eggs, omelet, whatever it is. It’s just a matter of maintenance.”

3. Be free.

Bobby usually wows the subject on the show and viewers with his makeover magic after turning messy spaces into aesthetically pleasing homes. However, in one episode of the show, he had fans in tears after talking about his personal experience growing up as a gay boy in a Christian family as the subject is also a devout Christian family man.

As a boy, Bobby would always go to church with his family and hear the word “gay” in a negative way, with preachers saying the gay community was all bad people. “I experienced the hate and the ignorance, and it was scary,” Bobby said. “I was definitely kind of an outcast. I had friends, but not close friends. I started realizing that what kind of made me different, and that I wasn’t like everyone else, was that I was gay.”

As he grew up, he realized that he wanted to break the cycle and how letting go of the past gives you more opportunities to progress in the future. “I started getting older and refusing to accept the chains that I had in my life, and I just wanted to be free,” he said.

4. Come out in your own way.

A running theme in Queer Eye is learning to be your most true self. Fashion expert Tan France, who usually brings out the best styles for their chosen individual, encourages viewers to embrace their sexuality and their personal journey towards accepting it.

He adds that in the LGBTQ+ community, there is no deadline on when to come out. It is always up to that person how they want to come out and start their journey towards self-acceptance.

“There’s no right or wrong way to be gay. No right or wrong way to come out. It’s your journey. Do it the way you want to do it,” he said.

Queer Eye Cast 2024

5. Break your walls down.

We can change our style, we can change our hair cut, but you can’t really change yourself unless we work on ourselves internally.

That is what culture expert Karamo wants viewers to remember when the topic of having walls opened up during one episode of Queer Eye.

Moreover, he said part of working on yourself internally is opening yourself to others and letting ourselves learn from, understand, and be influenced by them. “When people build up walls, they end up keeping other people out. But they’re also keeping themselves in,” Karamo advised.

Indeed, Queer Eye has given us a lot of words of wisdom to live by in its seven seasons. We cannot wait for what other lessons we can learn from the next seasons to come. Stay fab, Fab Five!

The new lifestyle.