Jonathan Van Ness is Cosmopolitan's 'first non-female cover star' in 35 years

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Jonathan Van Ness, pictured at the 2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards in September, has scored the first non-female Cosmo UK cover in 35 years [Photo: Getty]

Jonathan Van Ness, 32, is the first non-female-identifying figure to star solo on the cover of British Cosmopolitan magazine in 35 years.

The American hairdresser, podcaster, and ‘Queer Eye’ star posted the cover of Cosmopolitan’s January issue in a post shared with his 4.8 million Instagram followers.

For the cover image, he wears a tulle tiered Christian Siriano gown with an off-the-shoulder neckline. On his feet, he wear Nike trainers with red, white and navy socks.

READ MORE: Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness dubbed a 'queen' for gender-fluid VMAs look

The cover line corresponding to the interview reads: “Jonathan Van Ness. Yep. We did it. You’re totally welcome.”

Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness on the cover of the January 2020 issue of Cosmopolitan. [Photo: Rachell Smith/PA Wire]

The last non-female cover star to front Cosmopolitan magazine was Boy George in 1984. Male boy band One Direction fronted the publication in 2012, too, but as a group.

Van Ness does not identify as male, but instead defines himself as non-gender-binary, he told Out magazine earlier this year. While he prefers to be referred to with he/him pronouns, he does not identify as a “man”.

“The older I get, the more I think that I’m non-binary — I’m gender non-conforming. Like, some days I feel like a man, but then other days I feel like a woman,” he told the publication.

He has previously stepped out on the red carpet in gender-fluid looks, including at the MTV VMA Awards earlier this year.

In the cover interview, Van Ness opens up about living with HIV, having revealed earlier this year he was HIV positive – a status he discovered at the age of 25.

Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness in the January 2020 issue of Cosmopolitan. [Photo: Rachell Smith/PA Wire]

He told Cosmopolitan of his aim to reduce the stigma surrounding the condition.

“This is only the beginning. I’m quickly realising that there is still so much misunderstanding, so much sensationalising of living with HIV,” he said. “The stigma and the difficulty around the process of getting treatment is creating that My work has only really just begun.”

READ MORE: 'Queer Eye' star Jonathan Van Ness slams 'transphobic' comments

In a comment to Time magazine, Cosmopolitan editor Claire Hodgson spoke of Van Ness’ relevance for the magazine’s audience.

Jonathan Van Ness in Cosmopolitan. [Photo: Rachell Smith/PA Wire]

She said: “Jonathan is warm, funny, opinionated, kind and brave, all qualities that resonate with our audience. He is encouraging people to love who they are, which is at the heart of what our brand stands for – we could all do with a little more self-love in our lives.”

The January issue of Cosmopolitan is on sale from December 5.

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