It’s hard to remember what life was like before the Queer Eye reboot propelled the all-new Fab Five into our world. Antoni Porowski (food and wine expert), Tan France (fashion expert), Bobby Berk (design expert), Jonathan Van Ness (grooming expert) and Karamo Brown (culture expert) help to transform lives both on and off the screen – leaving a lasting impact on each episode’s participant, as well as the viewers at home.
Queer Eye’s resident culture guru Karamo Brown helps each Queer Eye nominee improve various aspects of their lives, which includes facing their inner demons. He opens their eyes to any existing self-sabotaging behavior and encourages them to start loving themselves. Reflecting on his most impactful moments on the show so far, here are 10 of the best quotes from Karamo about self-love.
11 “By saying, 'I wanna let you know I'm inviting you into my life, and I want you to be a part of it,' is the healthiest thing you can do."
Karamo drops this quote in the Season 1 Queer Eye episode, “To Gay or Not Too Gay,” where the Fab Five help the self-proclaimed “straightest guy in Atlanta” come out to his family and friends. He touches on the fact that while we tend to push others away as a means of self-defense, we can actually live much happier and healthier lives if we simply invite people to share the experience with us.
10 "When people build up walls, they end up keeping other people out. But they're also keeping themselves in."
This quote came from Season 1, Episode 2 of Queer Eye, where this episode’s nominee, Neal, says, “I don’t know why I have a wall. I just know I have one. I feel like I’m protected. I’m safe.”
The quote mirrors the previous one, highlighting the inherent fear most of us have of letting people in. Echoing that quote, Karamo makes the valid point that we hold ourselves back when we build our protective barriers, and in doing so, we make it impossible to reach our full potential.
9 "If my gay black ass from the South could do it, your ass can do it. So, just believe in yourself."
“Believe In Yourself,” is a pretty simple and straightforward message, but something we all need to hear from time to time. Karamo claims that if he was able to triumph in the face of adversity (growing up as a black gay kid in the South), then there’s nothing stopping anyone else from pushing through their obstacles and achieving their dreams, too.
8 "Don't let that fear hold you. Don't let it hold you anymore."
Fear is a state of mind that we can all relate to. There is no person alive that hasn’t stopped themselves from doing something in response to fear, and it’s completely understandable considering that it's a natural human instinct.
While it may be natural, fear can completely consume our lives and hold us back from achieving our goals. Karamo’s message is simple – if you feel that your fear has a hold of you, then it’s time to check in with yourself and figure out what you've got to do to release it.
7 "Being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength. It shows you are in tune with yourself, which is the sexiest thing to men or women."
It’s a common misconception that being open and vulnerable is a sign of weakness. Karamo’s message here is that it actually takes immense strength to be vulnerable, so if you can display this to yourself and others, you should be hugely proud of that, and also recognize that it’s an attractive quality.
6 “Being an adult means being a person of action. But when you make your plan and go after that plan, you’ll succeed.”
This quote is purely about DOING, rather than thinking or wishing. Often we have to plan our course of action if we want to realistically achieve our goals. Loving yourself means having the confidence to go for it. Be a person of action.
5 “You could have. It’s just that you didn’t know it.”
In the seventh episode from Queer Eye Season 1 titled, “Below Average Joe,” the Fab Five help a stand-up comic lacking in self-confidence to lead the life he wants.
Karamo encourages Joe to go out and do his own comedy gig in a bid to raise his confidence, and then helps him self-promote by taking him to a photoshoot to attain some professional images for his website and social media accounts. This quote came about when Joe was in disbelief of how much he could achieve, saying “Two days ago I couldn’t do that,” with Karamo responding, “You could have. It’s just that you didn’t know it.” This speaks volumes for how we value our perceived limitations, and it should prompt us to be honest with ourselves about how far we could go if we tried.
4 “You need to tell the audience what you’re about, otherwise you won’t go to the level that I know you can go to.”
In the same episode, Karamo highlights to Joe the importance of telling the world (or in Joe’s case, his audience) what he's about and what he has to offer. Until you have the self-confidence to do this, you won’t know how far you can go.
Karamo points out Joe’s lack of self-promotion, “I went on your social media and I didn’t see one place that you call yourself a comedian.” We can all take inspiration from this – whatever your identity in this world, be proud and share it, otherwise, how will people ever know to buy into it?
3 “Life does not happen to you. Life responds to you.”
Karamo continues, “Think of your life like a relationship that you’re going through, an emotionally intimate relationship. Anytime you say something or do something, those individuals respond in a certain way. And that’s how you have to think about life. You have to be intentional about what you want.”
2 “Don’t let the fact that you’re feeling lonely allow you to lower your standards.
1 You deserve the best.”
Karamo continues, “Just because you’re alone right now doesn’t mean that you are alone.” This is a simple reminder to keep loving and respecting yourself no matter who comes and goes in your life. You are ever alone, especially when Karamo and the rest of the Fab Five are around to keep you smiling.