Tan France Talks Racism and Loving the Skin You’re In

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Aug 05, 2019

Fans of Netflix’s “Queer Eye”’ have watched Tan France conduct inspiring makeovers for the fashionably impaired for four seasons. Now, he’s talking about his own very personal transformation in an interview with the Chicago Tribune published Monday (August 5). The interview centered around “Naturally Tan,” his new memoir, which explores his upbringing in Northern England, the racial struggles he and his Pakistani family endured and how he came to love his brown skin.

France said he hadn’t actually considered how much racism had affected him until he started writing his story. “But skin color, when I was writing the book … it kept bothering me: the notion of skin color and whether it’s beautiful or desirable. And it’s always pale. ‘White is right.’ So, that is why I wanted to talk about this.”

In the interview, France talks about race, his own personal reasons for never forgetting the events of 9/11 and how he learned to love everything about himself, including his brown complexion. “It’s my natural skin color,” France told the Tribune. “And now it’s given me so much confidence, where at one time of my life, when I was younger, it brought me so much distress and unhappiness. I thought that I would always be seen as less than. Now, the reason I was so happy to call [the book] ‘Naturally Tan’ is because I embrace my skin color so much. I think it’s the most beautiful thing about my appearance. I love my brown skin very, very much.”

Read the full interview here.