So I have to admit something. Out of all of the Queer Eye guys, I love Tan the best. I just love his accent, his hair, and his delight he gets in clothes and helping others look their best and be comfortable with their bodies. I always hated clothes shopping with my mother because she loved to just plop me in anything that was pink with ruffles. I was her only girl and I got it, but good grief when I see pictures of me as a kid I want to give myself a wedgie. Back to Tan, this memoir is full of a lot of funny lines but also some heartbreak when Tan recounts having to deal with growing up in England and the racism that people dealt out to him. He also discusses how when it was found out that he was gay and dating a man some of the people that he thought were his friends and loved him turned on him. I seriously want to give him a hug. There’s a lot of warmth and humor in this book along with a lot of very good fashion tips. I totally took a picture of the one on jeans. I am still looking for my perfect pair. I am also now ashamed I have a lot of bootcut jeans.
“Naturally Tan” has Tan France of Queer Eye fame talking about his life growing up in South Yorkshire, England and the many ups and downs along the way he had. I always judge memoirs on how open the author is. I have to say that Tan is very open about his life and is upfront about saying he does not like to talk about the Muslim religion and having people think that he represents it. I know what he means though. When a person of color is at the forefront of something, people tend to say see, that’s how all X is. It drives me up the wall. You know how many times I had to tell someone that Kanye West doesn’t speak for all African Americans?
I thought the writing was great and I laughed at a lot of lines in this book while reading.
“So yes, “dog breath” was one of the worst things anyone could have said to me, but it also fucking saved me.
That girl was the queen bee, but she peaked in high school. Go ahead, have that moment Emma. She recently reached out to me on Facebook, telling me how proud of how far I’ve come. I did not respond. That, dear reader, it the sweetest fucking revenge.”
“I also can’t dance, but I hide it well in public. What I mean by this is, when I’m dancing in the mirror-and really, who doesn’t dance for themselves in the mirror?-I know that Beyonce would be impressed. I know she would say, “Tan I didn’t even realize that was you and not one of my backup dancers.” Alone, I’m incredible. But when I’m dancing and I see other people, my limbs take on a life of their own and they insist on embarrassing me. “You should not do this publicly,” they say. So I stop.”
“The best thing about the Olive Garden is that when you arrive, they always ask, “Are you celebrating anything today?” The question they should ask is, “What happened to your life that you’re ending up at the Olive Garden? What ailment are these breadsticks and Alfredo sauce attempting to cure?”
The book tells things in a slightly chronological order, but sometimes goes back and forth to the same period in the next chapter so that when you are reading a chapter you go wait, I think we talked about this? So there is some of that going on that may confuse readers. I was able to follow along so I didn’t mind it. I do tend to like memoirs that tell things in order.
I thought this was a very solid read though short. I would have liked even more tips and insights from Tan. Once again, I promise I am throwing out my bootcut jeans.
I read this for the “True Story” square. Since this is a memoir, it fits the square.