The "Japanese Beyoncé" Will Appear on 'Queer Eye' and We Honestly Can't Wait


Oct. 30 2019, Updated 11:03 a.m. ET

naomi watanabe on queer eye japan
Source: Kelli Falls/Netflix

We know we're not alone in eagerly counting down the days for Queer Eye to return. But we're more excited about this season than ever — because the Fab Five are leaving behind their usual midwestern jaunts to take us all the way to Japan, where they'll be helping four new heroes achieve televised glow-ups.

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Queer Eye: We're in Japan! sends Antoni Porowski (Food & Wine), Bobby Berk (Interior Design), Jonathan Van Ness (Grooming), Karamo Brown (Culture) and Tan France (Fashion) to explore Tokyo and experience Japanese cuisine, fashion, design, and grooming firsthand. 

And though there is little our energetic Queer Eye cast can't do, the Fab Five are admittedly going to need some help navigating the foreign culture and new language.

Enter Kiko Mizuhara and Naomi Watanabe, who will add their multicultural flair and serve as a bridge between the American talent and the Japanese heroes.

Here's everything you need to know about Naomi Watanabe on Queer Eye.

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naomi watanabe queer eye
Source: Kelli Falls/Netflix

You might know Naomi Watanabe as "the Japanese Beyoncé."

Naomi is the most followed Japanese person on social media today, with 8.9 million Instagram followers as of this writing and a spot on Time Magazine's "25 Most Influential People on the Internet."

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She appears in ads for everything from beverages, makeup, and clothing in Japan, and Naomi got her start as a celebrity impersonator, achieving nationwide attention for her performances of Beyoncé.

While she's known to everyone in Japan, Queer Eye will serve as a formal introduction to American audiences — something she's been longing for.

"I'd love to make everyone laugh," the comedian tells The Cut. "Not just Japanese people." 

Tan France is already taken by Naomi and both share a passion for fashion. Naomi has gone from viral internet star and influencer personality to a bonafide owner of her own clothing company, Punyus, which she'd like to bring to the States.

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But the star came from humble beginnings.

"In a sea of Japanese stars, Naomi shines so bright, as she seems almost fearless and ready to just make you happy no matter what," gushed Tan to The Cut, calling her "truly effervescent."

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And while the plus-sized model and body positivity activist is about to make waves in the States, just a little over a decade ago, she was in a completely different place altogether. 

The now-31-year-old failed her high school entry exams and worked at a fast food chain in order to help out her parents, who separated when she was growing up.

She's even joked she used to cut out photos from menus and use them as side dishes to her own family meals. Her adolescence wasn't "the best environment," Naomi admits to The Cut. "I turned to music and comedy to take my mind off my parents fighting. To break the silence or clear negative air, I would say something funny and make my parents laugh. That's what got me hooked on it."

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naomi watanabe queer eye
Source: Instagram

"When I make people laugh, it gives me joy," she says. And we can't wait to see how this translates to Queer Eye, where so many of the heroes are in desperate need of someone to inject love and joy into their lives. "The feeling is something you can't describe. IT's almost orgasmic."

Tune into Queer Eye: We're in Japan! when the four-episode season streams November 1 on Netflix.

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