Tan France is opening about his experience as a Gay Asian immigrant and giving some fashion tips to a comedy icon.
Recently, the Fab Five member is giving a new look to a classic tv personality. The video is a part of France’s comedian makeover show “Dressing Funny.” In this episode, we see comedian and friend Rachel Dratch getting a makeover from France with the help of friend Tina Fey.
You can watch the video below.
But life’s not all laughs and games for Tan France, the reality program star says that his stardom and personal background, of born in South Yorkshire to Pakistani immigrants, have put a lot of pressure on his life.
Namely, France noticed how his ethnicity is often the focal point of coverage about him (even this article fits into that description, unfortunately). While France has talked about dealing with depression before, this was his first time giving this angle of his struggle with mental health and the pressures of stardom.
As France told PA:
“I’m in a very privileged position; I’m one of the first within my community to have a platform like this, a global platform like this, so I wanted to take the opportunity to tell the story of a person like me, who represents and is a member of many different marginalised communities, and so I wanted to tell a story that many people probably have never heard before.”
He added: “I would never profess to represent an entire community, but I represent a certain version of each of the communities that I fall within, and it adds on a huge amount of pressure.”
France then shared that he considered backing out of Queer Eye because of this issue.
“It’s actually one of the main reasons that I didn’t want to do Queer Eye initially, and I was scared to do Queer Eye because I don’t want people to assume that when I say something, all Asians think this, or all gay people think this, or all immigrants think this, and that unfortunately is the way the media often sees it.
“When a story is written about me, it will always start ‘Pakistani, immigrant, Tan France’ – it will never say that about Antoni (Porowski) or Bobby (Berk), it’s just their name.
“So it reminds me constantly that I am different, that I am other, and that when I speak, people assume that I speak for a whole demographic, and that can’t possibly be the case.”
But as he told the Insider, France eventually got over that fear.
“First and foremost, the fear of the studio was no longer a fear when I learnt that I didn’t have to be anybody that I wasn’t. I felt so much pressure to be Hollywood-y, show business-y, but I was the only one who had no show business experience. The producer of Netflix encouraged me to just be myself. That’s why I was hired. I didn’t have to put on this fabulous persona. I got to just be myself, which gave me real comfort.
“Then, again, accepting the fact that I didn’t have to portray a version of what it is to be a South Asian, gay immigrant. I just got to be me, and that’s why I thought, “OK, I can do this, and at no point will I profess to speak for people. I am myself and myself only.”