Queer Eye star Tan France has revealed he bleached his skin aged 10 because he wanted “to be white”.
France was born in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, to Pakistani parents and said he had been “conditioned” to think lighter skin was “more attractive”.
Writing in his memoir, Naturally Tan, France said he stole skin-bleaching products from his cousin when he was 10.
He wrote: “I haven’t had the balls to tell her I took it, because, since then, I’ve been ashamed of the fact that I succumbed to the pressure.”
France, Queer Eye’s fashion expert, said he would wait until night time to use the product so no-one caught him.
He added: “The importance of being pale is very bizarre. 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.”
Despite his childhood troubles, France, 36, said his skin is now his favourite part about his appearance.
“I think my skin colour is beautiful. As a 10-year-old, I could never have imagined that you could find my skin colour beautiful, and I’m willing to bet most non-white people have thought the same thing”, he said.
France stars on Netflix’s reboot of makeover show Queer Eye alongside Antoni Porowski, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk and Jonathan Van Ness.