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‘Queer Eye’ Star Jonathan Van Ness Predicts The Ending Of ‘Westworld’

Culture
Photo via Netflix

Yasss, henny

With a few facials and an endless supply of boundless positivity, grooming expert Jonathan Van Ness has quickly captured the hearts of Queer Eye fans—one pop culture quip after another. Always ready with a smile, Van Ness’ heart of gold is arguably what grounds the show and continues to help propel it forward as a beacon of positivity amongst the garbage fire that is our world today. However, it wasn’t always so easy.

Ahead of Season 2, we spoke with the grooming god himself to talk about everything from what the fuck is going on in Westworld this season to some of his most formative life experiences—as well as whether he’ll ever cut off his famously luscious locks. Read our Q&A with him below, henny!

Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Are you tired from all these back-to-back interviews?
No! Never, never…

[Skeptical pause]
I'm full lying. I'm literally full lying, but I didn't want you to feel like I wasn't in a gorgeous mood, and I am! I mean, I do love an interview. And it's like, you always hope that people are going to want to talk to you that you have to remind yourself that, even if you did eight in a row, it’s like, You wanted this for so long, Jonathan. So get grateful! Get in that gratitude! You better Queer Eye your opinion on interviews, girl.

I just love your positivity. How do you manage to keep up such a great attitude in this world where there's literally a new garbage fire every day?
Okay, picture it. You're a really, really, really flamboyant, effeminate gay kid. Born in Reagan's administration, and then spent the first four years of the Bush administration, in the height of the AIDS/HIV epidemic, in a really rural little Illinois town that had no gay people. So every day since my birth... was kind of a new dumpster fire. [It was like] dealing with a new dumpster fire daily, but I always kind of still was able to have fun. Some days were easier to do that than others, but I was never in that good of a social environment growing up. So I think I learned how to make lemonade pretty soon in my life, and I think I've definitely carried that through into my adulthood.

I also think some of it is a little nature versus nurture. I'm naturally an early riser, and I'm naturally kind of optimistic.

On that topic, confidence is obviously something you have to work on and build. What was that journey like for you?
Kind of three steps forward, two steps back, three steps forward, two steps back, three steps forward, two steps back, until somewhere in my late 20s when I was like, Girl, you killed this. Girl, you went through the most. You weathered the dark times. You built a business. I built a thriving salon that was really successful, and I built [my Game of Thrones podcast] Gay of Thrones into something that was amazing with my friend Erin [Gibson], and I was really feeling like I had kind of made it and was like really feeling myself—feeling pretty proud of myself even before Queer Eye.

[But for a] long time it felt like a struggle... my 20s were really pretty dark. I lost my stepdad, who was very much like my dad. He'd been my dad since I was six. And I have a great relationship with my dad, too, but I was really, really close with my stepdad, who we lost in July of 2012 to a really horrific, three-year battle with cancer. Then my mom, literally six months later, got diagnosed with a really severe case of ovarian cancer. But now, gratefully, she is four years cancer-free.

But a large part of my 20s were dumpster fires, and so arriving toward the end of my 20s—having weathered those and come out on the other side, standing up and feeling good about myself—my 30s have been amazing. My 30s have been so fun. So now I feel like it's not so much three steps forward, two steps back—I'm feeling like I'm antelope springing [many] steps forward. And it wasn't always like that, but I'm enjoying this new antelope-esque pace.

I’m happy to hear that. Speaking of Gay of Thrones, you spoke to us earlier this year about your favorite TV shows. I was curious to hear your thoughts on Westworld Season 2 since you were excited about it.
I feel like they are slaying this season so hard. It's so good, right? I'm obsessed with it.

I'm mostly confused, to be honest.
What are you confused about? I'll tell you. I'll help you figure it out. 

Literally everything.
Well, you know what, I do get a little confused about [some of it], but I just don't think about it too much. Sometimes I feel like there are rules from Season 1 that they break all the time. Like, how in Season 1 the robots were never able to see anything that [made them question their existence]. But now that they're in Shogun World, if Maeve was a threat to them—or if any of these people from Westworld could hurt the robots in Shogun World—why are they able to see them? Wouldn't they just be, like, not apparent?

But whenever I have questions like that, I just think, Maeve probably just switched around the settings and fixed it, so it's not like that anymore. They really can do no wrong for me. It's so good, I don't care. I'm obsessed.

I just hope that [Thandie Newton] and Evan Rachel Wood don't get in a queen battle royale and kill each other because neither one will submit. I really don't want an Aaron Burr-Alexander Hamilton situation happening.

They're probably going to Red Wedding it. One of them's going to die. I have a bad feeling.

What about the Roseanne reboot? I know you talked about it with us before, so what did you think of that cancellation?
I did think it was problematic. Especially [Roseanne Barr]. But I was thinking Wanda Sykes and everyone else involved [would make it okay]. But everything's been said and done. I 100 percent understand why ABC [canceled the show], and I agree [with the decision]. But at the same time, I feel terrible for that cast and crew. So many people worked so hard to bring that show to light, and people were really liking the content, and it's such a shame that Roseanne Barr's racist-ass mouth had to cost everyone that.

On another token, I've heard some people say, "Did ABC go too far? Is this a freedom of speech thing?" And I heard someone say this on Instagram, and I think that freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequence. [Like that was] just crazy. It creates the energy of like... this is why kids are getting lost at the border and why people are screaming at Spanish-speaking people in restaurants in New York City. That energy starts from the top. So when you have the president and celebrities expressing outwardly racist views, and continue to have huge corporations endorse them and promote them, that’s an issue.

Again, my heart just breaks for the cast and the crew—that now don't have that job... But also, I'm so not a fan of hers, and I wasn't then, and I'm not now. And I'm sure she's not a fan of mine, and that's fine.

Who doesn't love Queer Eye, though?
Honey, I bet Roseanne's not living for it. Maybe actually she's bingeing on it right now because she's got more time on her hands, but...

Does that ever make you nervous? The fact that everyone at some point can get labeled "problematic"?
Yeah, I think anyone in entertainment is worried about that. People have said that [in the] comments—that I was being problematic—ever since I started making content on Gay of Thrones five years ago. So that doesn't feel new to me. I think I've always been a threat to gay men who have a lot of repressed, internalized homophobia. I think it's hard for gay men who deal with a lot of shame to see someone living fully, and I think that sometimes my living fully is misinterpreted as putting on a mask or being a stereotype, but I just can't really spend too much of my time taking inventory of people's feelings about me. Because I know my truth, and that's what's important to me at the end of the day. So, I don't really think that we are problematic.

If you could switch jobs with any of the other guys, what would you choose and why?
Probably culture. I would switch to it because you can do the most different stuff. You can do a different moment every week, and I feel like you could be the most creative with it.

Final question, the one on everyone's mind. Will you ever cut your hair?
If my hairline starts to betray me, for sure.

Queer Eye Season 2 returns to Netflix on June 15.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Well, actually it's crocodile, but she looks out of this world so...

Winnie Harlow walked the Cannes red carpet on Wednesday on her way to a screening of Oh Mercy!, wearing a showstopping gown.

The sheer black dress featured green embroidery on the front and back, which Ralph and Russo confirmed was in the shape of a crocodile. She belted the dress with a black crocodile skin-like belt and finished the look off with some strappy heels. She didn't leave it at just that. For beauty, Harlow packed on full lids of sparkly purple eyeshadow. She kept her hair sleek and simple.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Though the brand says otherwise, as Game of Thrones fans, we'd like to think the embroidery is reminiscent of a dragon's skin. Not to mention, Harlow looks out-of-this-world beautiful in it.

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Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

That denim kimono!!

Marion Cotillard shut down the Cannes red carpet on Wednesday at a screening for Matthias Et Maxime. Instead of an extravagant gown that's expected of the event, Cotillard wore a matching black crop top and shorts. Despite wearing an outfit I typically don to a hot yoga class, she looks incredible. She completed the look with an oversized denim kimono, a statement necklace, and heeled booties.

Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

At first, I was drawn in by the crop top and hotpants duo, but, after looking closer at the kimono, it's clear that it's the real scene-stealer. The floor-length Balmain piece was decorated with artful rips and dragon motifs. I would like to live in it.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Let's all bow down to the Khaleesi of Cannes.

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Photo by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images.

"It doesn't make you weak to ask for help"

Singer Billie Eilish is continuing to open up about mental health, this time in a new PSA video in partnership with the Ad Council and Seize the Awkward.

In the video, Eilish insists that "it doesn't make you weak to ask for help." She doubles down on the importance of asking for help, and stresses the importance of friends and family being there when their close ones reach out and checking in on them as well. "You should be able to ask anyone for help, everyone has to help someone if they need it." According to Eilish, there have been times when someone reached out to her at the exact moment she needed it, and it helped.

It was particularly refreshing to see Eilish acknowledge that there are things she still doesn't know and has to learn about her mental health. At the very beginning of the video, the interviewer asks her to reflect on her mental health journey, and all Eilish can do is let out chortle. "I think when people hear, 'Remember to take care of your mental health,' they think that everyone else is, and that is not at all accurate," she admitted. "You know, for me I'm trying to learn still to make sure that I stay okay."

Check out the PSA below.

Billie Eilish On Mental Health & Friendship | Ad Council www.youtube.com

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Photograph via @kimkardashian.

"#NotOnMyMoodBoard"

Kim Kardashian has definitely been accused of borrowing a design now and then. But when Instagram influencer and Kardashian look-alike Kamilla Osman claimed the entrepreneur copied her birthday look for a Met Gala after-party, Kardashian was not going to let it fly—and shared plenty of photo evidence to shut down the claim.

Fashion industry watchdog Diet Prada first noticed Osman's claims on Instagram and shared side-by-side images of Kardashian's Cher-inspired outfit designed by Mugler and Osman's dress. "Never get confused with who 'inspires' who. They won't give you credit but they will copy," Osman wrote on her IG story. "I designed this dress for my birthday last year. Nobody had a dress like this was an original design."

Kardashian responded by posting the true inspiration behind her look: images of Cher, in similarly sparkly, plunging-neckline dresses and wigs, and of model Yasmeen Ghauri walking a Mugler show in the '90s. In fact, the only similarity between Osman's and Kardashian's looks is the bodycon mini-dress style, which the two are not the first to wear. Among the images, Kardashian included a blank slide with the hashtag "NotOnMyMoodBoard," making it clear that this was in response to Osman's claims.

Screenshot via @KimKardashian Instagram Stories

Screenshot via @KimKardashian Instagram Stories

Though I am with Kim on this one, Kardashian does have a history of co-opting other people's work. From being sued over her Kimoji app, to claims she copied makeup palettes and perfume bottle designs, to being accused of copying Naomi Campbell's entire style, it's far from the first (and probably, far from the last) time Kardashian's name will be mentioned like this.

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After delivered the perfect pep talk

When Lena Waithe took over as a guest host on Jimmy Kimmel Live, her first time ever as a late-night host, actress and friend Halle Berry knew exactly how to pump her up. After Kimmel's security guard Guillermo Rodriguez hit the "Berry Button" (a large button on the wall that says just that), Berry came running out in a backless tee and boyfriend jeans to give Waithe a pep talk... and plant one on her.

Berry rolled in as if she'd just jogged from hanging out with her friends to come to Waithe's immediate aid, joking she wasn't dressed for the occasion; but, let's be real, she could wear a paper bag, and we wouldn't complain. Waithe requested the "Halle Berry juice," similar to her 2002 Oscars speech, and Berry immediately had the lights turned down low and jumped into inspirational speech mode.

"I know that you are a force of nature. You are a beautiful African-American queen going after everything that is hers," Berry said before going on to list Waithe's many titles and accomplishments. She jokingly concluded, "And you already winning, girl, 'cause you are dressed way better than Jimmy ever will," before asking if Waithe needed anything else. Clearly, Waithe thought that was all Berry was there to do, because she said no, but Berry insisted she needed one more thing before grabbing Waithe's face and surprising her with a kiss. "Wow," Waithe reacted after Berry pulled away, and honestly same!

Watch the video, below.

Lena Waithe's Guest Host Monologue on Jimmy Kimmel Live youtu.be

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