Bleats

Jonathan Van Ness Is A Groundbreaking Queen On The Cover Of Cosmo

Can you believe?

Is there anything Jonathan Van Ness Can’t do? He’s been smashing records and breaking down boundaries left, right, and centre for years now, and now he has another record to add to his collection: Cosmopolitan’s first solo non-female cover star in 35 years.

Jonathan Van Ness – who is non-binary but uses he/him pronouns – is photographed on the cover wearing an orange and pink gown designed by Christian Siriano, and just generally looking absolutely luminous. Cosmopolitan know what they’ve done too, because the line about him reads “Jonathan Van Ness: Yep, we did it. You’re totally welcome.”

Jonathan himself announced the cover on Instagram, posting the shot captioned “My body is ready.”

Cosmopolitan featured all the guys from One Direction on their cover in December 2012, but the last time a solo non-woman featured was the December 1984 issue, which has Boy George on the cover.

Cosmopolitan UK editor-in-chief Claire Hodgson has said that Jonathan was a wonderful choice for the cover.

“Jonathan is warm, funny, opinionated, kind and brave, all qualities that resonate with our audience,” she said. “He is encouraging people to love who they are, which is at the heart of what our brand stands for – we could all do with a little more self-love in our lives.”

Earlier this year, Jonathan became Essie’s first ever non-female brand ambassador, and opened up about being diagnosed with HIV when he was 25 as part of his memoir, Over The Top. Talking about his HIV diagnosis was an incredibly important moment for him, as well as the entire HIV positive community, who Jonathan describes as “beautiful”. 

Jonathan Van Ness is a beautiful human being who is leading the charge for people to be themselves. It’s not always easy to be so open about who you are in this world, but thankfully we have people like Jonathan making it just a bit easier.

Queer Eye Is Beautiful And Good, But Not Everyone Can Afford New Wardrobes, New Interiors And All Those Avocados

Without Netflix picking up the tab for the haircuts and wardrobe remodels, few people on Queer Eye could actually afford the full-on life-makeover the Fab Five offer – but one or two episodes from the latest season hold the key to making their good advice more accessible.

In a world full of horrible things, one show shines brighter than Chip Skylark’s teeth – Netflix’s reboot of Queer Eye. There’s something incredibly healing about watching five of the most wholesome men on Planet Earth spread positivity and encourage self love, and I am here for it.

There’s hardly any shows out there that simply exist to make people feel good about themselves, no matter who they are. In a year where we’ve had a lot of prejudice and hostility spewed out of our screens and into our faces, Queer Eye has become a comforting message that everyone deserves happiness, confidence, and nice things.

Let’s be honest, though – happiness and confidence can be a lot more achievable than a house full of expensive new things. So much of the QE glow-up involves going out and completely replacing everything you own. How many people do you know that could afford to do that?

The first time my attention was drawn to this was the Season Two episode that centres on William, a guy aiming to propose to his girlfriend, Shannan. The guy who told Tan that his fashion icon is Frasier Crane, and instantly took 10 years off Tan’s life. You know the one.

THIS FACE.

William and Shannan live in a trailer in rural Georgia. He wears second hand clothing, and, to Bobby’s horror, sleeps in the bed that belonged to Shannan and her ex.

The point is, William and Shannan are not flush with cash. They both work at Walmart, a company whose wages are so notoriously low that a lot of their workers rely on food stamps just to survive. William and Shannan have bigger problems than their second hand furniture – and do you really think that anybody would be sleeping in a bed that their partner shared with their ex unless they had to?

Sure, the Fab 5 got William a brand new wardrobe and totally made over the trailer (including getting a new bed), but would he have been able to afford any of this if left to his own devices? My guess is no.

If this is what it takes to be happy and confident, how many people are price locked out of a good life?

Closely related to “throw out all your clothes and buy new ones” rich.

It’s not just William, either. There’s Joe, the stand-up comic who lives with his parents. Leo, the bartender with two kids. Skylar, the trans man who winds up in ridiculous amounts of debt after complications with his top surgery. The subjects of the show are everyday people, who simply can’t afford to toss out everything they own and start again. Hell, I know I couldn’t.

So is a person’s worth and happiness tied directly to the amount of high end possessions they have? Of course not – that would be even simpler than chucking an avocado and a grapefruit on a plate and calling it a “””salad””” – but the show can certainly suggest on occasion that Buying Nicer Things solves a lot of your life problems. I get that we live in a consumerist nightmare, but some more accessible makeovers would be nice?

The Fab 5 don’t actually seem opposed to this from what I can tell, either. In Jason’s episode, Bobby is working off the assumption that he’ll be skipping town, so rearranges his apartment using what’s already there – and it’s both beautiful and still distinctly Jason’s.

And when Jonathan speaks to Arian about moisturisers and other magic goop, Arian says that he doesn’t have a lot of money. Jonathan teaches him the basics and gets him some decent, cheaper brands.

There are even several episodes where Tan is rifling through some stunned person’s closet, and says something along the lines of “this isn’t too bad, I don’t mind this” when he resurfaces. (Of course, we never see it again, but he might have actually let them keep it…)

Karamo’s tough-love advice, of course, is free – although the accompanying rope courses and boxing classes are not.

Overall, in Season Three, I think it would be nice to have some makeovers with aspects that aren’t just for those people making six figures.

I’d love to be able to re-create a little bit of the magic in my own life, and I’m sure I’m not the only one – because loving yourself should be as easy as making guacamole, and much, much cheaper.

(I’m sorry, Antoni. I love you really.)

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