Book Review: Naturally Tan

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Queer Eye’s resident shady bitch kills it in his first memoir.

God I love Tan France. Queer Eye is one of the most uplifting, inspiring shows currently on Netflix and I feel genuine joy whenever I watch an episode. For me, Queer Eye is comfort food; it’s the show I turn to when I need a little calm levity in my life.

Short review: If you love the show, you will love this book.

Since that’s out of the way I’ll go a bit deeper as to why I adored this book. Tan France is overwhelmingly my favorite member of the fab five. I love his slight snark and honest nature. I love how he tends to say the things I would say to someone while his cast-mates tend to be a bit kinder and easier on the heroes. Tan exudes honesty and bluntness to me, and he might be my favorite because I wish I was more like that.

Having read both Tan and Karamo’s books, I will say if you want to read more information about how Queer Eye came to be and what working on the show is like, this book is the way to go. The last quarter of this book primarily focuses on the development of the show and what his life has become. France structures his memoir by chapters that are named after different items of clothing. His chapter entitled “Jeans” discusses his grandfather’s life as a denim manufacturer, which is where he first got a taste for design. Subsequent chapters on tuxedos, for example, discuss his life change into walking red carpet events and being “on” for press tours. I thought it was quite genius to base his chapters around fashion items, being that he’s “the fashion guy,” and he often gave little general style tips at the end of each chapter.

Tan discusses his life as a child, his struggles with sexuality, race and religion, his relationship and marriage to his Mormon husband and his role as a small business-owner. I found the chapters on his marriage and his businesses to be incredibly interesting, mostly because we haven’t gotten a ton of information about those aspects of his life revealed on Queer Eye yet.

Generally if you like the show, you will like this book. I read every sentence in Tan’s voice which made this a quick and fun page turner. He came off as being very open and honest here, and unlike many celebrity biographies, this absolute reads in the same way he speaks which made me feel more connected to it. Can’t wait for the other Fab Five to release books now; we all know I’m going to read them!

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