Warning: There are Queer Eye season 4 spoilers ahead.
Deanna Munoz has a confession to make. "I have to be very honest," she tells Refinery29 over the phone. "I relapsed for a little bit, I relapsed on everything."
After filming her episode of Queer Eye season 4, in which the Fab Five helped her achieve a businesswoman look that still felt like her nearly a year ago, Munoz says she learned that old habits die hard. Especially, ones she had since she was a kid. "When comes to my hair and makeup, I’ve been doing the same thing since I was 11, everyone who knows me, knows me that way," the mother of four featured in episode 6 says. But, now, nearly a year later, she's completely done with teasing her hair. "Not having it for months," she says of her once signature bump, "I’m like, 'I didn’t need it,' it almost made me feel like it was too much."
She's pared down her hairspray use, too, sticking with just one bottle of her favorite brand, Big Sexy Hair Spray, instead of the 13 she once kept in her bathroom. "I am using it more in a light way," she says laughing. "I can actually put my hand through it now."
But Queer Eye gave Munoz more than a new look, it gave her a newfound confidence in herself. She calls doing the show her "jump off the cliff" moment. For years she had talked about starting her own foundation, going as far to found the Latino Arts Festival, a yearly one-day event that celebrated Latinx artists in her Kansas City, MO community. But, she had gotten so used to people telling her she couldn't do it, she started to believe them. After seeing the office space that Bobby designed for her, complete with a mural celebrating her Mexican-American heritage, she realized this was her time. "I’ve been reaching so high," she says, "but all I needed was this confidence and I needed this space and I needed someone to believe in me."
In February, Munoz founded the Latino Foundation for the Arts, a 501(c) nonprofit which advocates, supports, and provides mentorship to the underserved and underrepresented artist community in Kansas City. Right now, it's open only on weekends, but Munoz hopes that with additional funding she can hire a grant writer and an office manager so that the free space can be open Monday through Friday to any local artists or writers who need it.
For years, Munoz says she focused too much on the haters. Now that she's achieved her dream, she says her message to the doubters is simple. "Never overlook anybody," Munoz says, "because we all have something to offer and we all have a voice and we all have a story. The more you allow someone to tell their stories, the more we can connect."
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So excited to be launching the Latino Arts Foundation! We are kicking off by featuring artists who have been on the journey with us. Get ready to see the art and hear the stories of artists that are impacting our community! The best is yet to come! #featuredartists #latinoartsfoundationkc #latinoartsfestivalkc
Since the show, Munoz has been able to connect with so many just by telling her story and hopes after her episode airs, it will be even more. Last month, Munoz gave a TEDxYouth talk about being Chicano and one of the highlights was being able to share it with her Queer Eye family. After her TED Talk, Munoz sent the clip to Karamo, the Fab Five member she felt the most connected to. "He literally just told me, 'I’m so proud of you.' And I’m about to cry right now," she says holding back tears. "That extra support is just the sweetest thing ever."