‘Queer Eye’: How Is Jonathan Van Ness So Much Better Than Us at Achieving Goals?

Most of us recognize Jonathan Van Ness as the relentlessly upbeat skin- and hair-care hype-man on Netflix’s Queer Eye. But if you follow Van Ness on Instagram, you’ll notice that the Emmy nominee’s talents are far from limited to beauty. Van Ness’ social media showcase his impressively wide array of talents, from yoga to figure skating to gymnastics, all activities he posts pictures and videos of to track his progress. 

Jonathan Van Ness
Jonathan Van Ness | Jim Spellman/Getty Images

But his skills don’t stop there. Until recently, he hosted the Emmy-nominated Funny or Die web series Gay of Thrones, on which he and a guest hilariously recapped each GoT episode. He now hosts a wildly popular weekly podcast called Getting Curious. Van Ness is also an author; his book Over the Top came out September 24th of this year. Last but not at all least, the Netflix personality is currently on his multi-city stand-up tour, Road to Beijing.

It’s impressive, to say the least, how readily the 32-year-old Netflix star attacks his goals and achieves them. Sure, we all have hobbies and talents, but he seems to be lapping us with the number of accomplishments he’s racked up. In Jonathan Van Ness’ own words: Who gave him permission to be our society’s gender non-conforming Renaissance Man? 

From a young age, Van Ness has been passionate about passions

Growing up in the hometown of Quincy, Illinois, Van Ness had many passions. When he was interested in something, he dove in headfirst, Van Ness told In the Envelope: An Awards Podcast.

“I … was just obsessed with obsessions my whole life,” he said. “Whatever it was … stamps, coins, rocks, figure skating … I wanted to know whatever I could about it.”

One of Jonathan Van Ness’ primary obsessions was the Olympics, which led to his love for ice skating and gymnastics. While he was able to pursue gymnastics training on his high school cheerleading team, he didn’t get the same opportunity for skating. Yet Van Ness didn’t let that stop him, still finding a way to live out his dreams by doing what he called “carpet figure skating.”

JVN even found time to practice his ice-skating moves when Queer Eye filmed in Japan.

“No time to spare in her quest for ice skating glory, Van Ness wrote on Instagram, “… she finds her footing on Japanese ice.”

The ‘Queer Eye’ star shares his growth on Instagram

With figure skating, an activity he’s taken up only in the last year, Jonathan Van Ness has shown considerable progress. Each Instagram post is a humbling reminder that growth in any capacity takes patience, persistence, failures, and vulnerability. 

His first few videos on the ice — though endearing as ever — showed a rather inexperienced Van Ness shakily making his way down the rink. Over the course of mere months, we’re already watching him pull off higher-level spins and jumps that would no doubt make his idol, Michelle Kwan, proud. 

He also takes the time to celebrate his achievements, a true believer in the healthy idea that we need to give ourselves credit for the things we have accomplished. He gets so excited when he completes a new gymnastics trick that it’s frankly adorable. 

Van Ness’ net worth makes the goal-achieving more possible

The Queer Eye self-care expert knows that while he’s been through a lot, he’s now at stage in life where he can afford to take risks–risks like learning to figure skate in your 30s.

Both of Van Ness’ primary hobbies, ice skating and gymnastics are accident-prone activities. He explained on the In the Envelope podcast how in his 20s, he simply didn’t have the resources to fall back on, were he to get injured. It would’ve meant the budding hairstylist’s worst nightmare: moving back from Los Angeles to his hometown in Illinois.

“If I was gonna break something or really become injured,” he explained. “that was a potential to, like, move back to this place where I had worked my whole life to escape.”

With Van Ness’ current net worth sitting at a cool $2 million, he no longer has to worry about healthcare costs due to injury, and he’s on the ice several mornings a week. It’s simply amazing to see the 32 year old take advantage of his success in a way that’s about gaining new skills and learning new things.

His new book ‘Over The Top’ gets real and honest

Jonathan Van Ness bravely revealed in an interview with the New York Times last month that he is HIV-positive. It’s something he goes into more detail about in his new book, Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love which came out a few weeks ago and is already on the New York Times Bestseller List.

“That day was just as devastating as you would think it would be,” Van Ness writes in the memoir.

Of course, Van Ness was smothered in support from his Queer Eye cast, as well as fellow celebs and adoring fans.

Thanks to vigilant self care and self love, JVN is healthy and thriving. With everything the Queer Eye star has been through, we can’t stan Jonathan Van Ness enough, the true epitome of #goals.