Instagram | @tanfrance

'Queer Eye' Star Tan France Reveals He Bleached His Skin At The Age Of 10

The King of French Tucks and all things fashion on Queer Eye is no stranger to the power of beauty.

However, when he was younger, the power of "conventional" beauty was more of a poison—and he fell victim to it.

Now, he's opening up about skin bleaching, self-love, and acceptance of the skin he's in.

Tan France is the height of fashion.

Instagram | @tanfrance

On Queer Eye, his role in the Fab Five is to help the people they meet feel better about themselves through how they view themselves.

For Tan, that involves teaching them how to dress themselves in ways that make them feel good.

And yeah, some of his styling choices become memes.

Instagram | @tanfrance

For example, he basically sensationalized the "French Tuck." Tbh, that's the first thing I think of when I think of his fabulous self.

But there's a purpose to it! The tuck is something simple you can do to elevate your outfit, and make yourself feel trendy.

The Fab Five don't focus on just aesthetics—and neither does Tan.

From the man himself:

"Style is not fashion. Fashion is not trendy after a season. I couldn't give a sh** about fashion. Style is dressing the way that you feel confident and what is appropriate for you, your age, body type."

I seriously love to hear the amazing wisdom he has for loving yourself.

Instagram | @tanfrance

He doesn't just focus on style with his advice, either.

"You being your true self isn't going to offend anybody. It's very unlikely that people are going to cause you an issue just because you are being yourself.

And if they're concerned, that's on them. You're happy."

If you're thinking to yourself:

Instagram | @tanfrance

"Man, I wish he would write a book!"

I have great news for you: he did! Tanny just published Naturally Tan, which is a memoir detailing the life of the first openly gay, South Asian man on television.

Some of the stories he tells are hard to read.

Instagram | @tanfrance

The book details the struggles he faced growing up gay in a religious family.

It also follows the issues he faced being South Asian in a predominantly white town in South Yorkshire, England.

Which likely contributed to how he saw beauty.

At 10 years-old, he snuck into his cousin's stash to steal skin-bleaching cream.

According to Tan, he had a dream.

"[...] I've talked to many friends of color who have told me they shared the same dream, and that is to wake up white." He said.

He was afraid of the outside world.

Instagram | @tanfrance

He continued on:

"I first had that dream when I was very, very young, because I worried constantly that if I went outside the house, bad things would happen to me."

Beauty standards contributed to his inner dialogue.

"When I was five, I remember thinking, 'God, I'd give anything to be white. I just want to be white, I want to be white, I want to be white.'

I had been so conditioned to think that if you were white, you were automatically more attractive."

So he stole skin bleaching cream from his cousins.

He began using the cream. He said it hurt, but that pain wasn't only on the outside. It turned inward, too.

"Since then, I've been ashamed of the fact that I succumbed to the pressure."

He never told his cousin what he did.

Instagram | @tanfrance

"I haven't had the balls to tell her I took it [...]

I kept the dirty little secret to myself. I'd only use it at night, before bed, when no one else was going to catch me. Let me tell you, that s*** hurt."

His opinion of his skin has changed dramatically since then.

Instagram | @tanfrance

"If you ask me what my favorite thing about my appearance is, I'll say my skin."

I want to cry at how beautiful this is. His struggle likely resonates with so many people, particularly people of color.

He continued on.

Instagram | @tanfrance

"As a ten-year-old, I could never have imagined that you could find my skin color beautiful, and I'm willing to bet most nonwhite people have thought the same thing." Tan wrote.

It all comes down to this:

Instagram | @tanfrance

"I think my skin color is beautiful."

Hopefully this story can help anyone out there who may relate to how he felt when he was younger.

Representation matters, and it's amazing to see it at work.

"Naturally Tan" is available now.

Instagram | @tanfrance

From his coming out story, to growing up in England, to the massive success of Queer Eye, Tan covers it all in Naturally Tan.

Now, if only we knew the secret to his perfect hair...