1. "You can't fix ugly" - the first recipient of the Fab Five's attention was Tom, this gruff looking 57-looking-65 man who at first glance you think will not be receptive to five gay men trying to make-over his life... how wrong. He was so sweet and genuinely adored them being around; he was just a lonely man who loved his ex-wife and wanted to live the rest of his days with her but had got into a rut. His repetitive line was "you can't fix ugly" which is heart-breaking... the Fab Five rightly said, you can't change what you were given (to a huge extent) but there are parts you can influence that make you more confident in your own skin. This really resonated with me; when I was doing my vision board for the year, I told Sean we should do one together and eventually he agreed so we came up with bits and pieces. We agreed to come up with one thing for each other as a goal for this year. Mine was based around Sean finding a career he enjoys and wants to develop in and his for me was a simple "to love yourself".
I've found that quite a challenging thing, it's not that I don't "love myself", I just don't really contemplate it. I've settled over the past few years at being happy, working on being a lot more content and not being so sensitive about passing comments if they should occur. But I know, when I look in the mirror, I am unhappy with what I see. I don't like how my body looks, where the weight sits - the fact that I've gained weight and I'm not quite sure how that's happened. So this message of influencing what you can to make you feel more confident was a vibrational message of change - no, it's not unusual and yes, it's a message we hear all the time from the "diet" industry but it's the way it was delivered to a man who was calling himself "ugly" and that mattered. And there was no judgement, the message was just heard and treated with love.
2. "It's OK to have a relationship with yourself" - a simple message, add several Queen-level hair flicks then you've said it like Jonathan Van Ness but with also the level of love, acceptance, freedom and complete lack of judgement that he exudes. The Fab Five really take the time to transform the inside and outside of the person which is incredible to watch and is truly inspiring. It's simple guidance that anyone watching can take away. I wear the same basic make-up to work every day, when I'm off I tend to just have mascara on (if anything) make-up wise; I wander round in a huge long t-shirt and don't get dressed if I don't have to - when I do get dressed, I rely on my trusty jeans, I don't wear anything else really and I mix-and-match jumpers (I say mix-and-match, I wear a select group in a rotation which are my "throw on" tops). I don't have much of a relationship with myself day-to-day and that concerns me now. When I get ready to get out I spend a lot more time doing my hair and make-up, I think a lot more about my clothes and by the time I leave I am feeling myself! Why don't I do this every day? Even in just a small way? I don't leave myself a lot of time before work in the morning, but even when I get home I don't take a couple of minutes to properly cleanse my skin or moisturise or even spend 10 minutes doing a face mask - and I definitely have the time for that. While we're on a Jonathan Van Ness subject I can't ignore hair either... I am so lazy with my hair, I wash it and let it air dry, I don't really style it more than just running my fingers through it and 90% of the time it's up in a pony tail or bun - it does need to be up for work, but I don't even wear it down a lot at home, which is ridiculous because I have great hair... it's dyed which I don't up-keep well but again it wouldn't take a lot for me to calculate money and go to the hairdressers more often to get it touched up.
3. "Style is not fashion... (I couldn't give a shit about fashion)... Style is dressing in the way that you feel confident, you, your age, your body type" - thinking of my last comment, that I wear the same shit, day-in day-out but I watch and like the plus-size bloggers for their clothing choices. Taking more time to choose and consider how I present myself to the world, because that's my personal brand - which right now would be considered basic - is important. I shy away from buying clothes because I always have so many, but I don't wear them, because my personal style is simple so I go for things that fit the simple easiness of my style. But I can do that in an elevated way, by investing in a couple of pieces a month I can expand my wardrobe so that I have more things to grab and wear. I'm not a fashionista, probably as far as you could get from one, and I don't like to wander round in white trainers or casual dresses, I'm a jeans person. Sean has made over his personal style in the past 6-months, moving away from jeans into chinos and moleskin trousers; from constant t-shirts to shirts and jumpers; from huge ugly trainers to tan Chelsea boots; from an ugly rain coat to a 3/4 length navy wool-blend jacket. He loves how he looks and feels in the clothes, he stands taller and you can see who he wants to be. I don't have that, I haven't found out what that looks like for me yet, but... this is the year I need to do that.
There are many other lessons to take from Queer Eye and I highly recommend watching it. And if you're not sure it's up your street, I highly recommend reading Sam Parker's article about "Queer Eye" in the Telegraph online which is conveniently linked right here! You can register and read the article for free, just scroll down!