Cosmopolitan UK is kicking off a new decade of magazine covers in a major way. For its January 2020 issue, the British fashion magazine will feature Queer Eye’s beloved grooming pro Jonathan Van Ness. According to JVN, who identifies as non-binary and uses male pronouns, it’s the first time in 35 years that the magazine has had someone who isn’t a woman on the cover.
If this is any indication of what the next decade of fashion media looks like, we’re here for it—especially because Van Ness looks like a sherbet dream, wearing a delectable custom Christian Siriano peach-coloured gown, athletic socks, and Nike running sneakers. Siriano has made a name for himself largely by creating clothing for people usually ignored by major designers, so it’s a match made in heaven.
And considering the way JVN continues to push the boundaries of what it is to be non-binary (like his inclusive partnership with nail polish brand, Essie), we love to see it. In an interview with Out magazine last June, JVN explained that even though he uses “he/him” pronouns, he does not identify as a man. “Like, some days I feel like a man, but then other days I feel like a woman,” he said. “I think my energies are really all over the place. Any opportunity I have to break down stereotypes of the binary, I am down for it, I’m here for it.” Now, Van Ness is doing just that on the January 2020 cover of Cosmopolitan UK.
“My body is ready,” the reality star captioned the picture of his cover on Instagram. “First non-female cover star of Cosmopolitan UK in 35 years,” he wrote.
“I’ve been wearing heels and wearing makeup and wearing skirts and stuff for a minute, honey. I just, like, didn’t know that that meant — that I had a title,” the Netflix star told Out back in June. “I didn’t really put that together with ‘gender nonconforming’ or ‘non-binary’ or owning that as an identity until recent[ly], because I think I just thought that I loved skirts and heels,” he explained.
Mainstream media tends to stumble over how to genuinely write about the future of gender and fashion — like that Vogue magazine story which featured Gigi Hadid and her-then boyfriend Zayn Malik to “highlight the impact the gender-fluid, non-binary communities have had on fashion and culture.” So it’s refreshing to see what happens when magazines let people simply just be. In this case, it looks like JVN, an HIV/AIDs activist, posing for a magazine cover wearing an inclusive designer ball gown with sneakers.