In the first episode of Queer Eye Season 3, viewers met Jody and Chris — a married couple who loves all things camo and hunting. But Chris nominated Jody so she could see that being a strong woman, wife, and mother doesn't mean you also can't take some time for yourself. Based on where Jody says she is after Queer Eye, she really embraced those lessons from the Fab Five.
"It's never too late to take time to care about how I look and take pride in myself on the outside," Jody tells Refinery29 via email of her biggest takeaway from the show. "I feel more confident and my husband says I look more striking and vibrant! What a difference five wonderful guys made in my life."
The first side of Jody that viewers saw was the camo-wearing, hunting part of this self-proclaimed "country girl." She grew her own produce, and she hunted and fished for her food. It was clear she was a tough woman — and she needed to be for both her hobbies, but also for her job. She still works at the men's federal prison USP Leavenworth, according to her LinkedIn.
But she's more than meets the eye, because Jody unveiled a more feminine side of herself throughout the show's filming. She's as comfortable deep-frying a squirrel for dinner as wearing heels and a dress. Her LinkedIn also says she actually went to cosmetology school back in the '80s where she was licensed to do hair and nails. So the Fab Five just helped remind her that there are no rules when it comes to self-expression. Masculine, feminine, or somewhere in between — your style should match you.
Now Jody's hoping to help inspire other women the way the Fab Five inspired her. "I love sharing with other women how I was in this rut for years, [but] how it's okay for us to be good to ourselves. It's not selfish at all," she says via email. "We women tend to feel that it's selfish, because it's taking something away from our kids or our spouse if we do something for ourselves. I thought that way, but not anymore thanks to the Fab Five. I hope I can help others, both men and women, out of that same rut!"
For Jody, that includes reminding herself every day of who she is. She says that, since filming ended, she starts every morning by looking in the mirror and telling herself, "'I'm a fierce strong woman,' and truly seeing myself as that." On the show, Jody was able to start embracing all sides of her personality, and it seems she took those lessons to heart that it's okay to be strong but also enjoy feeling more feminine from time to time. Jody describes herself on her Facebook profile as "independent, but I love it when my husband makes my lunch for work and puts a love note in it." That's their relationship in a nutshell. Viewers got to see how much her husband Chris loved Jody for exactly who she was, whether that's all decked out in all camo or letting her hair down.
Other than spending time outdoors and with her family, Jody shared with Refinery29 that she's "been extremely busy at work." According to her Facebook, she was one of the the thousands of federal employees who had to work without pay during the government shutdown earlier this year. When the government reopened, she happily posted on the social media site, "We are getting paid finally!"
Jody was a bright spirit on the show and an excellent reminder that there's no one definition of who a woman should be. Now she's sharing that wisdom with other women to inspire them to get out of their own ruts and embrace who they are. In that way, the magic of the Fab Five gets passed down and spread around, which is really what Queer Eye is all about.
Queer Eye season 3 is available on Netflix now