Synopsis from Macmillan Publishers:
In this heartfelt, funny, and touching memoir, one of the stars of Netflix’s Emmy Award-winning smash-hit Queer Eye reveals how an Englishman raised in a traditionally religious home became a fashion icon—and the first openly gay, South Asian man on television—simply by being Naturally Tan.
Before he became famous as one of the Fab Five makeover experts, Tan France was the youngest child in his family, growing up in South Yorkshire, England. As a member of one of the very few South Asian, Muslim families living in the predominantly white community, he was routinely bullied for both his culture and his skin color.
Knowing he was gay from an early age, Tan harbored that secret to avoid further racial harassment and potentially cause a rift between him and his family. It was a secret he would keep from them until finally coming out at the age of 34—happily married to Rob, a Mormon cowboy from Salt Lake City.
With his trademark wit, humor, and radical compassion, Tan shares his journey and the lessons he’s learned along the way about being a successful businessman, a devoted spouse, and self-acceptance. From navigating the gay community, to finding the love of his life, to creating a popular ladies’ clothing lines for Kingdom & State and Rachel Parcell, Inc. to joining Antoni Porowski, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, and Jonathan Van Ness on Queer Eye as positive, representative celebrity role models for LGBTQ people, Tan followed his own path to develop his signature style and embrace life on his own terms.
Full of his candid observations about US and UK cultural differences, social media behavior, celebrity encounters, behind-the-scenes realities of reality TV, and—of course—fashion tips, Tan gives his unique perspective on the happiness to be found in being yourself.
About: Naturally Tan is an autobiography written by Tan France and Caroline Donofrio. It was recently published on 5/14/2019 by St. Martin’s Press, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers, paperback, 258 pages. The genres are memoir/biography/autobiography, LGBT, and nonfiction. According to Macmillan’s website, “St. Martin’s Press has a long and respected history of publishing a solid and varied list. We are dedicated to publishing emerging new authors, and offering a fresh perspective on classic genres, while maintaining a diverse and interesting range of books.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading Naturally Tan on 5/11/2019 and finished it on 5/16/2019. This book is an excellent read. Normally memoirs put me to sleep but this book is actually written in a way that I feel like Tan is talking to me. It’s upbeat and honest and I found myself wanting to get to know him and learn from his experiences. I have never heard of Tan France and the Netflix show Queer Eye until I receive the surprise book mail, advance copy for review. I went on Netflix right after I open my book mail to watch two episodes from season 1. Tan worried about himself not being silly enough on the show compared to the other guys, but I thought their silliness is a bit annoying. I do love the end of the show because the transformation is gorgeous. From this book I learned that racism do exist in England too and not just in USA that I know of.
This book is told in the first person point of view following Tan France, a Netflix Queer Eye star specializing in fashion. He was born in England and experienced racism against Pakistanis for being a person of color. He learned fashion from an early age through his grandfather’s denim factory. He worked many different jobs growing up and travel to USA often for fun. While in USA he met Rob, now husband and they started dating. Since he couldn’t get married to a man to stay in USA with Rob, they continue their relationship long distance. Later he started a business in the fashion industry to obtain work permit and eventually US green card.
Naturally Tan is very well written and a fast paced read. I enjoyed reading his experiences in starting a business and the stress of keeping it afloat. Definitely interesting to learn about international press tours where Tan and the guys are in a room for up to 12 hours just answering questions from different reporters. Each time they answer a question they have to be excited like it’s their first time answering the question. Sounds intense. I’m also surprised that Pakistanis wanting their skin white just like Asians. I enjoy the different advices spread throughout the book. Definitely a good memoir to read to obtain a glimpse into show biz, fashion, marriage, etc. I highly recommend everyone to read this book!
Pro: fast paced, page turner, England, humor, advices, starting a business in fashion, press tours, Netflix auditions
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author:
Tan France has been a successful fashion designer behind-the-scenes for over 15 years, and now steps into the spotlight as the star of Emmy-winning makeover hit, and Netflix re-boot, “Queer Eye”. Surrounded by an all new cast, France is the witty wardrobe wiz leading the charge in the fashion department and is ready to make America fabulous again one makeover at a time. This experience is so much more than just new clothes to the British born fashion advisor however, it’s about real-life issues, changes and acceptance on all sides.The epitome of style and class, Tan is the creative mind behind successful brands including the popular ladies clothing lines Kingdom & State and Rachel Parcell, Inc. Prior to his personal success as a designer, he spent his summers working in his grandfather’s denim factory while he secretly enrolled in fashion college in preparation to start a new chapter as a fabulous design star. (Photo and info obtained from Macmillan’s website).
More Information about St. Martin’s Press
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.