Queer Eye grooming guru Jonathan Van Ness uses his one-of-a-kind sense of humor to teach makeover participants the ins and outs of self-care. This long-haired, bearded beaut from Illinois treats grooming as a whole-body experience. Instead of focusing on superficial, unrealistic style tips, Jonathan remains practical and grounded with his advice. He's also incredibly sarcastic and is known to break out in song and dance with no notice.
Jonathan has built quite an internet following for himself. Outside of Queer Eye, he has his own podcast, Getting Curious With Jonathan Van Ness, as well as a web series called Gay of Thrones. Jonathan is open about his HIV-positive status, and he's used his celebrity to advocate for the HIV/AIDS community. He's also the only non-binary member of the Fab Five, meaning he doesn't identify as exclusively male or female. Here are the 10 best memes about the resident Queer Eye primper.
10 A Little Baby Guinea Pig
Jonathan loves comparing makeover participants to cute animals. In season one, the Fab Five makeover an Atlanta programmer named Neal who hides behind ungroomed, overgrown hair and a beard. Neal's anxiety shines through in the episode, and Jonathan makes an astute observation here about Neal's inability to calm down.
Fortunately, the Fab Five work their magic on this ball of pent up emotions, and with a trimmed beard and shorter hair, the more confident Neal feels ready to take another swing at life. Looks like the little baby guinea pig transformed into a real adult human by the end of the week with the Queer Eye crew.
9 Let Me Help You Out
This hilarious Queer Eye/Stranger Things mash-up meme demonstrates Jonathan's penchant for edgy makeovers. Stranger Things resident psychic kid Eleven goes from Midwestern lumberjack to goth babe with the grooming expert's help.
Throughout Queer Eye, Jonathan displays his ability to transform anyone into a sharp, stylish individual. While he makes it clear looks aren't everything, Jonathan wants the world to know taking care of your skin and hair contributes to your overall mental and physical well-being. Much like a little black eyeliner empowers Eleven to kick butt in Stranger Things, a trim empowers Jonathan's makeover participants to grab life by the horns.
8 The Power Of Vulnerability
The emotional rawness of Queer Eye makes the show quite a tear-jerker. Jonathan never holds back from difficult conversations with the show's subjects, and he shares this important concept with "little baby guinea pig" Neal in season one
When the Fab Five makeover Jonathan's high school music teacher, Kathi, in the fourth season, he exhibits his own vulnerability by returning to a place where he was frequently bullied and outcast for being openly gay. This powerful reunion establishes an important fact about the show: in order for the makeovers to work, the Fab Five have to make themselves as vulnerable as the people who they are working on.
7 A Little Jhuzh
Hair kween Jonathan is good at creating manageable grooming routines for each of Queer Eye's subjects. He tells William in Season Two to "never be afraid of a little jhuzh," a classic line about taking moments throughout the day to give yourself a boost.
Jhuzhing can be running your fingers through your hair, washing your fash, checking yourself out in the mirror, or reapplying your lipstick. Jonathan's adamant that everyone should create time to appreciate and dote on themselves. As he said, "You have to create little pockets of joy in your life to take care of yourself."
6 Jonathan's Jesus Beard
The Internet loves comparing Jonathan Van Ness to Jesus. Both have long, flowing dark hair and beards. Both love flowy, drapey outfits. Both value kindness and equality over all else.
Queer Eye reconciles with religious dogmatism and homophobia through the stories shared by the Fab Five and their subjects throughout the series. It was a big deal when they made over Bobby, a devout Christian with six children. He shares an impactful conversation with interior design expert Bobby about discriminatory beliefs . Through these scenes, the show creates healing moments for audiences and participants.
5 Constructive Criticism
The show's message is one of positivity and self-love. Instead of bolstering feelings of inadequacy and self-consciousness, Queer Eye is all about loving the skin you're in. The Fab Five's approach to makeovers is based on enhancing the inherent beauty of each subject, not "making" them beautiful.
This refreshing approach to a reality TV makeover show has caused Queer Eye to be such a massive success, and Jonathan is front and center in conserving this message. Instead of cracking jokes about how subjects look, he takes his job seriously and provides constructive criticism. "Confidence is sexy," he continuously asserts.
4 Where You At, Tan?
The Fab Five have their own unique friendships, and this serious of screenshots highlight Jonathan's numerous attempts to FaceTime clothing expert Tan France. Looks like Tan is often too busy to chat with Mr. Van Ness.
Jonathan's silly faces here attest to his ability to never take himself too seriously. He's been honest about his own struggles with addiction, and his fight to overcome his past traumas. Being on Queer Eye has been affirming for Jonathan, not just through the ways he impacts subjects' lives, but through the friendships he's developed with other cast members. Hopefully Tan will pick up next time.
3 Sage Advice
This meme is a testament to Jonathan's central theme with grooming: self-care. He's quoted as saying, "I want people to fall in love with themselves and to be really proud and full of joy for the space they take up. If someone else appreciates the space you take up, then that's icing on the cake."
Jonathan never hesitates to fill the spaces he occupies with love and joy, proof he lives up to his words.
2 Non-Binary Icon
Haters back off. Queer Eye cast members emphasize that gender identities exist on a spectrum, and they welcome subjects who are male, female, trans, or anywhere in between.
When Jonathan came out as non-binary, he empowered show fans with similar labels to be confident about who they are and to live with pride. On the show and at public events, Jonathan often wears dresses and skirts. With his beard, this gorg fashion icon undermines gendered concepts of clothing, and he looks stunning every time he does it.
1 The Icon Mr. Van Ness
Mr. Van Ness is the ultimate queer icon, unabashedly confident and captivating in his own skin.
Memes like this focus on the fabulous and glittery nature of life when everyone is equal, when everyone can live and love as they please, and when everyone takes time to care for themselves. There's no right or wrong way to be. As Jonathan so eloquently puts it, "I'm really about body positivity and self-love, and I will definitely push the boundary with a pink midriff-baring top."