Hi everyone, I’m Lois from Lois Reads Books and I am taking over The Little Contemporary Corner today! Sarah and I have spent the last couple of weeks co-reading Naturally Tan by the wonderful Tan France. We have both been wanting to read this book for a while and when a copy came into the library I work at, we decided it was time to finally read it and together. This post is going to be my review of this book and you can pop over to my blog very soon to read Sarah’s wonderful review!
When I saw that Tan France would be releasing a memoir all about his life I knew I would have to give it a read. It is safe to say that memoirs aren’t usually a thing that I read often because I am a lot more into fiction than I am non-fiction. Sometimes I really enjoy watching someone on the TV or the internet but I never care about their lives outside of their shows all that much. When it comes to the Queer Eye guys though I would pick up literally anything they wrote and give it a go. Even if it was an instruction manual for a wardrobe written by Bobby (I am slightly obsessed with the Fab Five).
Tan France grew up in a little town in south Yorkshire and is well know for making a name for himself in the fashion industry. Tan had a number of fashion businesses that he ran in both England and American which he sold at the age of thirty-six so that he could retire and live a more relaxed life. The fact that he did this inspired me more than I can say. The fact that he created his own businesses and in a number of years could retire happily just shows what you can do if you put your mind to it. Tan wasn’t retired for very long though as he is now the fashion leader on Netflix’s Queer Eye.
When I started this book I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I didn’t know if it was going to tell the story of how he got onto Queer Eye, more of his younger life or just his life before Queer Eye. Naturally Tan is so much more than that. Tan tells us about his life, his businesses, his sexuality and also how he was cast onto Queer Eye. The Tan we see on Queer Eye is known for being sassy and this comes across on every page of this book. Every single page is filled with sassy comments, fashion advice but also some emotional and hard-hitting things.
I found myself laughing out loud when reading his book more than I thought I would. His sass really comes through in his writing. There were points in reading this book I had to hold my laughter in because I wasn’t in an appropriate place to laugh, but even then I was still laughing out loud. He may be an English boy living in America but his very English personality shines right off the page. He is open in all the right places and is never afraid to talk about anything and joke about these things.
Tan talks about many of the serious things he has had to face throughout his life. These include the affect that 9/11 had on his life, how he was expected to be as a south Asian man and how he is constantly being stopped in the airport due to his race. I throughly enjoyed how open Tan was about these topics and I felt it was incredibly brave of him to talk about these in such an open way and made me admire him more than I already did.
After I finished this book I feel like I knew Tan better than I did just watching him on Queer Eye. I left this book with an array of fashion tips as well as tips on making yourself feel more confident and not afraid to be you. Tan didn’t let me down in my expectations of this book (I didn’t think he would) he actually went above and beyond my expectations. I like Tan even more than I did after reading this book.
Even if you aren’t a fan of Tan France I would throughly recommend that you read this book for the confidence and fashion tips and the extremely open way that Tan talks about so many different topics!