With season four edging closer and closer by the minute, we thought we’d take a look back at the past three seasons of the beloved, feel-good Netflix reality reboot.
Queer Eye takes us along with the Fab Five—Antoni, Bobby, Jonathan, Tan and Karamo—as they traverse the country giving lifestyle makeovers that encompass food, interior design, grooming, fashion and their inner selves. But it’s so much more than that. The show is magic, and has garnered a diehard following due to its touching stories, lovable leads, and ability to build bridges between people with different backgrounds and beliefs.
So without further ado, here are our picks for the 10 best Queer Eye quotes, and believe us, this was a tough one to whittle down.
1. On vulnerability
“You can’t selectively numb feelings. So if you try to numb the vulnerability, you also numb joy, happiness, connection. You can’t have connection and joy and happiness without vulnerability.” —Jonathan
From the start, Jonathan knew he had to put some “sass” in Sasquatch, aka Neal, the self-deprecating app builder we meet in episode two. But Neal needed more than just a beard trim. After noticing how he keeps his friends at a distance, the gang was able to make Neal more comfortable being vulnerable with the people he cares about most.
2. On tearing down your walls
“When people build up walls, they end up keeping other people out. But they’re also keeping themselves in.” —Karamo
We all need a Karamo in our lives. Karamo knows that you can wear better clothes and have a nicer haircut, but nothing really changes unless we work on ourselves internally first. And part of that means opening ourselves up to others, and letting ourselves learn from, understand and be influenced by them.
3. On self-care and the idiocy of gender roles
“I wanna show straight and gay men alike that self-care and grooming isn’t mutually exclusive with femininity or masculinity.” —Jonathan
Thank you, Jonathan, for once again reminding us that gender roles are dumb. In a society that shames men for self-care and grooming ,and pressures women to put more time into their appearances, Jonathan lets us know that taking care of ourselves doesn’t make us more or less masculine and feminine.
4. On moving forward
“We have great memories to hold on to, but we gotta let go of the past and move forward to new memories.” —Esther
In season one, we’re introduced to a young entrepreneur named Remy, but it’s a quote from his mother, Esther, that sums up the takeaway from the episode. Esther watched her husband die of a heart attack right in front of her and her children. She tells Antoni that she wants her family to hold onto their memories of her husband but also to move, teaching us that moving on doesn’t have to mean forgetting.
5. On being fabulously fierce
“Does my hair look insane? Yes it does, but it’s fierce so I don’t care.” —Jonathan
With his long, flowing locks, Jonathan knows how to rock an unconventional hairdo. He asserts that more than how we look to others, it’s how we feel in our clothes, our bodies, our hair that matters most. And Jonathan’s feeling fierce!
6. On femininity and masculinity
“Whatever role you are whether it’s like moon or sun, moon being more feminine energy and sun being more masculine, I think there is gorgeous strength to be held in both.” —Jonathan
In a society that devalues feminine traits and puts masculine traits on a pedestal while shaming people for not aligning with the traits associated with their gender identity, Jonathan reminds us that we all have varying levels of femininity and masculinity, regardless of where we fall on the gender spectrum. So embrace your masculine and feminine sides, your sun and moon, because both are equally beautiful.
7. On your journey
“There’s no right or wrong way to be gay. No right or wrong way to come out. It’s your journey. Do it the way you wanna do it.” —Tan
Learning to be who you truly are is a running theme through Queer Eye. Tan encourages us to embrace our sexuality and our own personal journey toward accepting it. It’s always up to you how you want to come out and start your journey toward self-acceptance.
8. On being free to be who you are
“I just wanted to be free.” —Bobby
The first time we really saw Bobby open up about his struggle to accept his sexuality was in episode five of season one. He tells us about how he grew up religious. He carried a Bible to school every day, sang in a Christian rock band and was a deacon at children’s church. But he was also told gay people were evil, and he cried and begged God not to make him gay. As he got older, he threw off those chains and learned to accept himself and be free.
9. On feeling overwhelmed
“I heard a preacher once say sometimes when you are feeling buried, you’re actually just planted.” —Bobby
While planting eggplants with a devoutly Christian father of six, Bobby chats about how taking care of a large family, tidying up a busy house and still finding time to spend time with your significant other can sometimes make you feel buried. But really, when all your responsibilities seem to be caving in on you, it sometimes means you’re planted, not buried.
10. On wonder
“Can you believe?” —Jonathan
We toyed with a few choices for quote from the ever-lovable, easily quotable Jonathan to wrap things up with. There’s about a thousand great ones, including, “You’re strong. You’re a Kelly Clarkson son. You got this,” and, of course, “There is a diva in there, but all she needs is a little bit of a bold lip.” But in the end, we decided to go for this classic Jonathan quip.
Christine Fernando is an intern at Paste with an affinity for horror movies, pretentious poetry and trashy reality TV. Don’t try to follow her on Twitter because she doesn’t have one.