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Life Lessons from Queer Eye’s Tan France: “Naturally Tan”


Book cover of Tan France’s memoir Naturally Tan. Tan is standing in a suit with his hand in his pocket whilst smiling.

Since the re-boot of Queer Eye on Netflix, I have fallen in love with each of the stars. Not too long ago I wrote a review of Karamo Brown’s memoir and was really excited to see that Tan France had also come out with one. It also fills my heart with a lot of happiness to know that Johnathan Van Ness will also be releasing a memoir later on this year, titled Over The Top.

The cast of Queer Eye each bring something different to the show and I love seeing them work together and also supporting one another. In a world filled with competition and fake and flaky people, I love seeing how genuine they all are with each other. I also love seeing them support the heroes they makeover. The show is an all-around feel-good fest if you ask me.

The new season will be coming out July 14 and I am already clearing my calendar to make sure I have time to watch it. Having the memoirs from the cast also helps me survive between each season.

Tan France is brown Pakistani boy from England. He is elegant, witty, and honest. Picking my favourite cast member though is like asking someone to pick their favourite child: I might have one deep down, but it changes often and I would never tell you! But for now, I wanted to share with you some life lessons that I learnt from France’s memoir.

Own Who You Are

Owning who you are is a little like being yourself, although I would argue that owning who you are also requires you to take ownership of your identity and not apologise for what that is. Embracing your self-expression and who you talked a lot about by the members of Queer Eye in general, but each person owns their identity in different ways. France is more reserved and conservative when it comes to the way he dresses. Modesty seems to play a role in how he dresses, but it also comes across through his everyday life. Often times when we are told to own who we are we can forget that this doesn’t mean we have to be covered in glitter shouting from rooftops half naked. Owning who you are means loving the quiet parts of yourself just as much.

French Tuck Everything

Five images of Tan France with a French tuck. This is when a shirt is only tucked in at the front of the pants and is not tucked in around the back. Find the original link to photograph here.

Tan France is style personified. And I will French tuck now till the day I die. On top of French tucking everything, France gives great advice about how to find the style that is right for you. Think about what celebrity or star or really whoever you admire style-wise and use them as style inspiration. Also, look for someone with a similar body shape as you as this can help you get an idea of what will and won’t work on your frame.

Don’t Let Colourism Ruin Your Relationship With Your Skin

In South Asian communities and throughout Asian and African countries at large, colourism plays a massive role in the way that fashion and beauty are sold. Lighter skin is praised and darker skin is seen as unattractive and worthless. Skin colour can affect people’s prospects at getting work, marrying who they love, and being accepted in their communities. Tan France touches on his own experiences with learning how to love his skin growing up in England and while it can be really tough to accept your beauty when it does not fit into Western ideals of beauty it is exactly what you should do.

I would also like to add a note for all of my pasty white friends out their fake tanning their skin until they look like Oompa Loompas: just stop. Although the fake tanning industry doesn’t come from the same inherently racist roots of colourism and skin lightening, it is still teaching people to hate their skin. Don’t feel like you need to bake yourself in the sun and risk sun damage and skin cancer or cover yourself in creams to make yourself appear ‘tanned’. Love your skin for whatever colour it is and tell everyone else to piss off.

Salt Lake City Is As Beautiful As Tan France Says It Is

Before I went to Salt Lake City, Utah everyone told me how boring and horrible it was. It is FILLED WITH MORMONS and they are the worst was the common phrase I would here. Yet, upon arriving in Salt Lake City I was taken aback by how beautiful the city is, how kind the people are, and how wonderful nature is. I could drink coffee and beer and wine without getting and angry looks from people in the street (Mormons generally don’t drink these beverages). People were extremely kind and friendly when I had questions about directions or general information about the city. There is also a free tram service that you can use in the city centre to get around. For the U.S. this is FLIPPING amazing. So yes, Tan France is right… Salt Lake City is amazing and you should totally go there. Also, the shopping is great.

Well, these are my life lessons from reading Tan France’s memoir ‘Naturally Tan’. Do you love Queer Eye on Netflix? Who is your favourite? As always, share the reading love.

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