In case you aren’t familiar with the Fab Five, I’ll give a brief introduction:
First, Jonathan Van Ness is a fierce and fabulous hair stylist, passionate about the connection between grooming and self-care. I love Jonathan so much and this quote from the latest season in New Orleans, “beauty, skincare, hair care, body care, all those things, it’s like an avenue for you to explore a relationship with your relationship with yourself.” It’s not about having a dermatologically correct skincare routine but taking time for yourself to fill your own cup. Second, Antoni Porowski specializes in all things food and wine. Knowing how to cook for yourself and nourish your body with ingredients that make you feel good is essential for building confidence. Third, Tan France is the fashion expert, emphasizing that when you look good, you feel good. Fourth, Karamo Brown takes on culture, like a therapist figure and, lastly, number five, Bobby Berk. Bobby is an interior design extraordinaire, transforming spaces for other people. Whenever you’re feeling down, the Fab Five can always provide guidance and inspiration.
1. Be Kind to Yourself First
You can't be truly nice to others without being kind to yourself first. If you find that the energy and love you give to others is emotionally draining or unfulfilling, odds are you don't feel that love from yourself. Being "nice" can be a facade. You can only be genuinely kind to others when you are taking care of yourself first. Letting people push your boundaries for the sake of being "nice" isn't being kind to yourself.
2. Anyone Can Start Over
Jonathan Van Ness, once so wisely said, “When people say, ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,’ it’s not true, because you can reinvent yourself and learn new things whenever you want.”
To all the pesky perfectionists out there, you don't have to wait for the next first of the month or the end of the semester or any other perfect time to start. Whether it's stepping foot in the weight room for the first time, applying for an internship you're not qualified for, or pulling yourself out of a slump, there's no day like today.
3. Messy Heads Sleep in Messy Beds
Bobby Berk said, “Coming home to a tidy, pulled-together space will help everything in your life feel the same way.”
Your mental and physical well-being is greatly impacted by your physical environment. Think about the college you chose to attend, or where you work, or some place you dream of living one day. These places have an ‘it’ factor that inspires us to work towards them. How does the space you are in right now reflect where you want to be in life? As many times as your mom may have bothered you to make your bed in the morning, it’s a good place to start. Shift your mindset from ‘I’m just going to mess it up later’ to ‘I deserve to sleep in a clean and tidy bed every day’.
4. Self-Care Isn’t Selfish.
“How you take care of yourself is how the world sees you. It’s OK to have a relationship with yourself.” – Jonathan Van Ness
Mental health and “self-care” are terms that often go hand in hand. It’s also a term that is marketed to us. Sure, Hailey Bieber’s new skincare line and a fresh Skims loungewear set would totally elevate my self-care game right now, but true self-care starts when you can start being yourself around yourself, learning to accept feelings for what they are rather than punishing ourselves for feeling them. It’s okay to feel the feels. Don’t let influencers convince you that one product is a magic fix. Now we can flow into my next point, embracing vulnerability to become a more emotionally capable and available human being.
5. From Vulnerability Comes Strength
Two quotes perfectly encapsulate the message I'm trying to convey. The first is from Karamo: "Understand that being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength. It shows that you are in tune with yourself, which is the sexiest thing to men or women."
The second is from Jonathan: "You can't selectively numb feelings. So, if you try to numb vulnerability, you also numb joy, happiness, and connection. You can't have connection, joy, and happiness without vulnerability."
Be yourself, embrace the good, the bad, and the ugly. Be that girl who is so secure in their self-worth that they aren't bothered by those who don't see it.
I've learned that adequate sleep, eating home cooked food, keeping positive thoughts, looking good, and feeling good all play a role in self-care. While most of us won't have the privilege of receiving a total home, hair, style, and culture makeover from the Fab Five, we can still find inspiration and valuable life lessons by watching the show on Netflix. If you are looking for inspiration, laughter, and moments that will bring tears to your eyes, I highly recommend watching the newly released Season 7 of Queer Eye, as well as the previous seasons, available on Netflix.
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