The Queer Eye grooming guru is the new face of PooPourri

By Hannah Chubb
October 15, 2019 08:00 AM
Advertisement

Jonathan Van Ness is all about destigmatizing the things that make us human — and his newest personal product endorsement is another step forward on that mission.

The 32-year-old Queer Eye star is the newest face of PooPourri, the before-you-go toilet spray you’ve likely encountered in a medicine cabinet or two.

Inspired by the way the grooming guru always “owns his s–t” the often cheeky brand asked Van Ness to be its first ever celebrity spokesperson. Their new campaign centers around removing the shame around going number two, with the tagline: “Let that s–t go.”

“It’s something that everyone does but it’s something that’s very stigmatized and people just feel kind of gross about it,” Van Ness tells PEOPLE, on set while shooting the campaign’s commercial.

To help unseat the perceived faux pas, the Emmy-nominated TV persona shared his worst poo-related horror story in a behind-the-scenes video from the shoot.

Fair warning: things get a little icky from here on down.

“It was Sepulveda and Pico, and I was in a Kia Rio, at a red light, with nowhere to run,” he begins, setting the scene at the Los Angeles intersection. “And it wasn’t a ‘shart’ or a ‘chancer,’ as my step-dad would have said. (A chancer is when you have to fart and so you take a chance but you’re not sure.) This wasn’t a chancer — this was a 27-year-old having a full diarrhea that was brought on by a hot, seafood spinach salad with a kombucha and frozen yogurt.”

Sadly, he says, he never got to spray PooPourri before the attack.

“I’ve dealt with poo shame, and anywhere we can remove stigma and shame, I want to be here for it,” the grooming expert told PEOPLE, making reference to a far more serious topic he’s been tackling in the public eye following the release of his book, Over the Top, which came out on September 24.

“I think you can really tell that I put my heart and soul into it,” Van Ness says of the memoir, which is already a New York Times bestseller. “It has a lot of subject matter and storytelling that’s really from the depths of my soul, some of the hardest things that I’ve ever been through. It’s about the firing of the kiln that turned me into this gorgeous pot. But the fire got pretty intense, and that’s a lot of what I talk about in the book.”

RELATED VIDEO: Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness Recalls the Day He Was Diagnosed HIV-Positive After Fainting

No matter what kind of shame someone is dealing with, Van Ness want them to remember one thing: Better times are coming.

“Most everything that we’re going through is impermanent,” he says. “So that feeling of not being accepted or not being able to thrive and live your authentic truth is impermanent. But also good times can be impermanent, and bad times can be, and everything is cyclical and everything changes. I think the more we can learn to connect and love ourselves, the less we’re influenced by those cyclical changes that will inevitably happen.”