Today is an exciting post! I won’t ramble too much before it as the lovely Sarah for The Little Contemporary Corner, sums this post up nicely in her intro. We both recently co-read Naturally Tan by Tan France and we both adored it and want to review it on each others blogs. Mine will be on Sarah’s blog, so make sure you go and check my review out over there! So, here is Sarah’s review!
I’m taking over Lois’ blog for the day! It’s Sarah from The Little Contemporary Corner here and me and Lois have spent the last two weeks co-reading. We have both wanted to read Naturally Tan by Tan France for a long time now, so we finally bucked up the effort to do it together. My review is to follow here (right here right now), and you can hop over to my blog soon for Lois’ review!
Thank you to Penguin for sending me a copy of Naturally Tan for review.Naturally Tan has been one of my most anticipated reads for about a year since I found out about the release. Memoirs are not really my thing. Usually I can’t get in to them, or I’m not super interested about the persons life enough to read an entire book about them. However, Tan grew up a short half an hour away from where I did, and to see a south asian gay man succeed in the way he has (when he grew up in the crap-hole I did) really intrigued me to his life.
Tan grew up in south Yorkshire and made a name for himself in the fashion industry. He sold his businesses at the age of thirty-six and could retire. Pretty damn impressive. He now is the leader of the fashion section on Netflix’s Queer Eye.
I had absolutely no idea what to expect of Naturally Tan. I knew it would be about his life, presumably talking about his businesses, his sexuality and later his move on to Queer Eye. I wasn’t expecting it to be so hard hitting and emotional, sprinkled with a sassy comment per page and honestly some great fashion advice.
I wasn’t expecting this book to be as funny as it was. Tan is naturally sassy with a hilarious edge to him, and I’m so glad that shines through in his writing. I found myself laughing out loud at nearly every page. He’s brash in the right ways and not afraid to talk about anything or make a joke about anything. It works so well on paper and I wasn’t honestly expecting to laugh half as much as I did. I think of my sticky tabs were mostly used on his jokes!
Speaking of not being afraid to speak up, Tan talks about many ‘taboo’ topics in Naturally Tan. I’ve never found someone in the public eye who speaks so openly about money, fame and everything that comes with those things. It’s really refreshing to find out a ‘famous’ person actually opinions on those things. He discusses the fact that money hasn’t changed him, and he wishes it never does, and he discusses the fact that being ‘famous’ hasn’t worn in to who he is as a person. It’s rare to hear ‘celebrities’ talk about these things, so to have someone be so honest was refreshing.
Tan also talks about some more serious aspects of his life, such as being constantly stopped in airports because he’s south Asian, and the affect that 9/11 had on his life and what that meant for the way people viewed him. He’s incredibly open about topics like that and I honestly found it incredibly brave of him to talk about on such a public platform.
I truly feel like I know Tan France a whole lot better after reading Naturally Tan. His fashion tips were excellent. Tips on how to make yourself feel more confident, not look better. His in-depth knowledge of the fashion world was interesting to read about, so was his life growing up in England. I would have loved this book even if I wasn’t super interested in Tan as a person. He’s incredibly personable and honest, and that’s really what I wanted from this memoir.