Historically, young girls have been spoon-fed images of marriage and rarely dream of anything else. The white wedding gown, the groom, the beautiful ceremony and of course the big family and even bigger house. While marriage is a beautiful thing and can be something to aspire to, women shouldn’t be limited to just one dream. There are women like Tracee Ellis Ross who are proof that you can live a fulfilling life without a husband or kids.
In recent years, the black-ish actress has been viewed as what many women call the “rich auntie.” No husband, no kids, just vibes. And while she still gets questioned about not being married, more women are speaking out about not wanting a family and the number is growing. Pew Research Center’s 2021 report showed that 44% of people ages 18 to 49 say that it’s unlikely or “not too likely” that they’ll have children. Back in 2021, Tracee did an interview with Harper’s BAZAAR about not having different images of what happiness and success can look like for women.
"I didn't see enough examples of different versions of how a woman can find happiness and joy and power and sensuality, sexuality, all of that, without it being through the lens of how I'm seen by a man,” she said. “People are like, 'You're the poster child for being single.' And I was like, 'Great.' But what I would prefer is that I'm the poster child for living my life on my terms. And that there's a version of that for everyone.”
And she is living her best life! At 49, she has starred in many successful television shows and earned three NAACP Image Awards, and was also nominated for multiple Emmy awards. She created her own hair care line Pattern. Not to mention, she started her career in fashion as a runway model walking in shows such as the legendary Thierry Mugler. But if you look at her Instagram page, you will see that she enjoys traveling, fashion, spending time with family and friends, and making people laugh.
And while she has accomplished so much, she feels that she may have reached her goals a lot sooner had she not been so focused on her dream wedding.
Tracee opened up about that in the cover story of the spring 2022 issue of InStyle. “Culturally, young girls are taught to dream of their wedding and not the life they want to be living or the people they want to become," she said. "And I was not spared that messaging as a child — not from my mom or my dad, but from the world that we lived in. I spent a lot of time dreaming of my wedding. I can only imagine how much more I would've dreamt of — or how much sooner I would've got to some of my dreams — had we been in the conversation that we're in now, had I had people like myself and others to hear from as different examples of how to cultivate happiness and joy and a life that matches you."
At the end of the day, Tracee is her own dream and continues to inspire other women who desire the same joy, success, and passion the actress possesses. With the end of black-ish, we now await what The High Note star has in store for us next.
“I'm really proud of who I've become as a woman that, at 49 years old, I can hold both the grief for what hasn't happened and also the joy for what is happening. I'm present in my experience with a sense of wholeness I really could not have imagined when I was growing up because I had a lot of discomfort in my skin,” she said.
“I actually feel comfortable in my skin now. If you had told me that was going to happen, I don't know that I would've believed you.”
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We all know and love Tracee Ellis Ross for her vivacious personality that keeps us laughing, her gorgeous beauty that keeps us in awe, and her skilled acting that keeps us glued to our TV screens. And while she is already viewed as an impeccable talent, there is one skill she has tucked away for years, singing. Being the daughter of the incomparable singer and actress Diana Ross, it’s no surprise that Tracee too has the talent of singing.
However, being Diana’s daughter is the reason why she doesn’t really share that part of herself. The black-ish actress sat down with Jimmy Fallon on his late-night talk show to dish on her new single “Legacy” and how singing makes her feel.
“Legacy” is a song about loving and celebrating natural hair, which she dropped for her hair care line Pattern Beauty.
“The song is about the ritual of hair care, self-care, and that authentic legacy that we come from that when you sit down between the legs of your mother and get your hair done–,” she said before breaking into song. She then stopped herself when Jimmy and the audience began applauding noting that singing makes her feel “nervous and sweaty.”
She added, “I come from a legacy of quite a powerhouse singer lady,” referring to her mom Diana.
After sharing the story of the time she was a child and shied away from singing with her mom during one of her performances, she recalled another story when she was in high school.
“I was so shy and then I finally sang at a talent show in high school and I started too high and my voice cracked and the entire school was like (chanting) ‘Tracee, Tracee,’” she said.
“My friend had to come on stage and hug me and I tried again and then I took a break for 35 years,” she joked.
But this isn’t the first time that Tracee took another stab at singing. In 2020, the Girlfriends star made her singing debut in the film The High Note. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Tracee shared how terrified she was to play a singer in the film.
“I’ve always wanted to sing,” she said. “It was a childhood dream that I don’t know when or why I put aside. I mean, I understand why it was scary for me with my mom being Diana Ross, those are very big shoes to fill. I think I was worried about the comparison.”
Watch The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon interview below:
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After eight seasons, Black-ish is officially coming to an end. The beloved sitcom that starred Tracee Ellis Ross, Anthony Anderson, Yara Shahidi and more will premiere the final season, which has been dubbed “The Farewell Season” on Tuesday, Jan. 4 on ABC. In the meantime, the actors have been reminiscing about special moments on the show and what they will miss.
Tracee gushed to ET about her on-screen family who she looks at as her real family and what she will miss the most.
"I think I’m just going to miss the kids and Anthony," Tracee said. "The kids have just become these beautiful human beings. It was an honor when we started, they were so talented. But they've become family."
It appears her co-stars feel the same way. Anthony Anderson echoed the same sentiments when he shared a video of them together on Instagram looking back at their first audition. In the caption, he wrote that he knew that Tracee would be his “Rainbow,” which is Tracee’s character’s name on the show.
“I knew from the moment we started that she would be my Rainbow! And she has been just that! A Rainbow! I have never felt the freedom I felt working alongside Tracee. A freedom to try anything on stage. A freedom to fly! A freedom to just be me!” he wrote.
And in typical Tracee fashion, the veteran actress revealed the one thing she took from the set with her. "Took some clothes. Walked out with my wardrobe as much as I could get," she said.
But while “it’s so hard to say goodbye,” Black-ish is going out with a bang. Former First Lady Michelle Obama will be guest-starring in the season premiere of the final season.
The press release for the show states that Michelle Obama will show up at the Johnsons' home for the “When We All Vote” fundraiser to their surprise.
Now that’s how you end a series!
Featured image by Taylor Hill/WireImage/Getty Images
Tracee Ellis Ross is living her best life at 49 years old, single and all! Over the course of her career, the Black-ish star has been admired for her talent, sense of humor, and her bangin' bawdy so many fans have questioned, why is she still single?Why hasn't she had kids yet? But according to Tracee, she doesn't live her life for others, therefore our questions don't matter to her.
However, the Girlfriends star did speak about her single status and living life on her own terms. In an interview with Harper's BAZAAR, Tracee dove into how men have long been behind what happiness is supposed to look like for a woman.
"I didn't see enough examples of different versions of how a woman can find happiness and joy and power and sensuality, sexuality, all of that, without it being through the lens of how I'm seen by a man. People are like, 'You're the poster child for being single.' And I was like, 'Great.' But what I would prefer is that I'm the poster child for living my life on my terms. And that there's a version of that for everyone."
"I don't live my life for other people," she continued. "I just totally live it for me. This is something that has really solidified itself into an unbreakable, unshakable foundation in the last four or five years."
Period, Ms. Ross!
This isn't the first time the former model had to address being single and childless. In a May Marie Claireinterview, Tracee discussed the pressures put on women to have a family and live a traditional life.
"Our society spoon-feeds it to you," she said. "I used to put myself to sleep dreaming of my wedding. And I would still love all of that, but what am I going to do, just sit around waiting? Shut up. I've got so many things to do."
But Tracee isn't alone. There are many other successful Black women who aren't letting being single and childless over 40 define them.
Celebrities like Sanaa Lathan and Regina Hall have also spoken out about society's obsession for women, particularly Black women, getting married and settling down with kids and a white picket fence.
During 2020 CultureCon, Sanaa gave her opinion on the romanticized view of marriage and kids that women grew up seeing in TV and films.
"We read all these fairy tales---Snow White, Cinderella--...[and] they're being chosen by a man. That's when you win when you are chosen by a man. That's not the truth!" she said.
"I'mma choose me first."
Featured image by Rich Fury/Getty Images
OK, so I don't know about you, but Tracee Ellis Ross keeps me on my toes. Anytime I need fashion, gym, or beauty motivation, I know she is who I can run to to keep me together, an energy she has kept her entire career. She's relatable, although she is absolutely not relatable (because her entire life is a flex), but she still reigns supreme as the mascot of Black women.
Loud and proud.
In honor of her main character energy ways, here are 8 times Tracee Ellis Ross radiated being the main character of one's life.
The time she shined a light on Black designers when hosting the AMA's:
Tracee Ellis Ross is nottttt shy about crediting Black designers, which she wore on the big stage of the American Music Awards. She hosted the show and shared more information on her looks on Instagram via a screenshot of her Notes app.
"Not every piece I wore was by a Black designer, but I wore a Black designer in every look and Pat McGrath on my face."
She says it was a story she wanted to tell through her clothing, and her stylist, Karla Welch, made it happen.
"I was inspired by Issa Rae and Jason Rembert, who did it first at the CFDA Awards in June. I strongly believe in using my platform to shine light in directions I believe in, love, and celebrate my people."
When she actually was a main character in one of the best sitcoms in television history. TWICE:
Tracee may currently be known for her role as Rainbow Johnson on ABC's Blackish, but it was Joan Clayton on Girlfriends that placed her as cultural royalty. It began airing September 2000, and ran for eight seasons (including two on successor CW). In fact, the show was so legendary, it spawned another classic, spinoff, The Game.
"We were dealing with a lot of very real topics. We dealt with HIV, chlamydia, sexually transmitted disease, pregnancy, colourism, classism… all of these kinds of dynamics that come up as Black women, we were really diving in on 20 years ago, and I just feel so proud of the work we did, particularly because of how relevant it still feels."
When she strolled through Paris, stopped traffic, and made the girls stare:
Tracee looked mesmerizing as she wandered around in a beautiful flowing sheer dress that featured a ruched front, and an elaborate train that looked blew in the wind for the gawds. She looked stunning as people stopped and stared, and the internet went crazy as we all declared that Tracee is now the new owner of the color pink. #fightme
Or the time she existed in a world where her mother was THE Diana Ross:
Although her real name is Tracee Joy Silberstein, she is very much so a 'Ross.' And she is ever-so inspired by her mother Diana Ross in every single way. During a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live Thursday, she told guest host Sean Hayes that she gets a kick out of recreating throwback photos of her musical legend mama.
"I had this necklace, of hers and I think it was a necklace attached to a jumpsuit she wore in Mahogany, and I have always said, every time I see the picture, I'm like 'Oh my god I have that necklace!' I steal stuff from her. I kind of love doing it."
When she won the 'Fashion Icon Award' at the People's Choice Awards:
Tracee Ellis Ross has been in the spotlight her entire life, and last year she was honored for her always-impeccable style. The actress took home the style icon award at the 2020 People's Choice Awards. Ross toldE!:
"As I was coming out of the womb, I was like 'Sparkles! Where's the feathers! Give 'em to me, fashion, I love fashion! It started very young. I come by it honestly, my mom is Diana Ross, she's the fashion icon that I actually follow. My father also has impeccable taste."
She also credits her fashion sense to her mom and her 'epic closet.'
When she showed off her unapologetic joy just because:
I mean, if there were ever a photo definition of a flex, I'm sure this one ranks somewhere up there.
When she decided to be more of a boss and create a natural haircare line:
Tracee Ellis Ross' efforts to highlight diversity, equity and inclusion certainly do not stop in Hollywood. In 2019, after years of being asked for her hair secrets, Ross launched her line of natural hair products, Pattern Beauty, ultimately to fill a void she had personally witnessed in beauty and culture. In fact, she spent 10 whole years fine-tuning her vision to embrace the "authentic" beauty of Black hair.
"My journey in hair care started with my own personal journey. The mission of the brand is to meet the needs of the curly, coily and tight texture community."
To date, Pattern has a partnership with numerous large retailers, and even landed Tracee a role as Ulta's newest high-profile diversity and inclusion adviser.
When she wore feathered Bottega around the house, because you know, it's Tuesday:
Here's Tracee, ladies and gentlemen, causally sitting on the floor of her home in a Bottega Veneta pre-fall collection, feathered pantsuit.
And finally, when she set the bar for solo travel, all while breaking the internet:
Ross holds nothing back in establishing her regal main character status on Instagram. And her solo vacations are legendary, as every year, she gives us our travel goals, and shows us how to do it right. She has said:
"I think that was a big growth opportunity for me as I was coming of age and learning how to be on my own. I'm very comfortable traveling alone and being my own best friend."
Now all we need, are her lessons on how to break the internet too.
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Let's be real, at one time or another, all of us have struggled with how we view our bodies and positive self-image. Even the most confident and self-assured of us can find ourselves nitpicking and critiquing the stretch marks we see here or the extra bloat that we might see there. Despite the fact that we might be quick to offer the next person a compliment when they say something self-deprecating about their bodies, sometimes we forget to give ourselves that same grace.
And with it being summertime, and the streets calling us outside to partake in hot girl summer activities, it's easy to feel that self-doubt and insecurity stopping us from loving the bodies we have while we focus on the bodies we hope to attain. Don't get us wrong, having fitness inspo and "beach-body" goals to aspire to are cool, but so are the bodies we get to call our homes.
What's beautiful about this season in particular is how much self-love in the form of body acceptance has been emphasized. Adding their voices to that movement are celebs like Tracee Ellis Ross and Ashley Graham who are using their platforms to echo sentiments about showing your body gratitude instead of criticism.
Keep scrolling for some celebrities daring to bare the skin they're in and their bodies as they are now, fully and unapologetically.
Ashley Graham says "it's hot out there and so are you."
Recently, model and host Ashley Graham shared a slideshow of powerful images showing the range of very real shapes and sizes. In her caption, she wrote, "I hope these photos I've been tagged in of so many beautiful bodies motivates you to love the skin you're in. believe me when I say your body is beautiful, and i know it's easy to tell yourself the lie that you're not good enough, thin enough, sexy enough, 'flawless' enough to wear a tank top or a swimsuit, but it's hot out there and so are you."
In an interview with Porterearlier this year, Ashley revealed why it was that she is intentional about sharing photos of herself on Instagram showing her body. Hint: it ain't about the likes.
"I don't post myself half-naked to get the likes. I post myself half-naked so that someone who's 10 years younger than me knows that that side butt, that hip dip — that's not abnormal to have."
"I wish that, when I was younger, there had been someone as outspoken as I was, who was as fearless with their cellulite and back fat, so I could know that this was normal; this was what a body looks like."
Rihanna knows she is beautiful regardless of her weight.
Rihanna is a purveyor of slay at any size and she has worn confidence as a second skin for her entire career, both onstage as a performer and off as the Queen of Savage. For our favorite bad gal, self-acceptance is key. Sis told VOGUE she is a firm believer in embracing her body at any phase:
"You've just got to laugh at yourself, honestly. I mean, I know when I'm having a fat day and when I've lost weight. I accept all of the bodies. I'm not built like a Victoria's Secret girl, and I still feel very beautiful and confident in my lingerie."
Tracee Ellis Ross wants you to show your body compassion.
Earlier this year, Tracee Ellis Ross shared an affirming message via her IGTV in April with the title "Checking In 4/8". In it, she addressed the fact that our bodies need compassion not judgment. For her, gratitude is the attitude and it's a gift she'd like to pay forward.
"I really encourage and invite all of us to just receive the wisdom of our bodies right now and allow the softness, the weight--whatever that looks like and be grateful. Like, I feel like I've made it through this year. And in some ways I've gotten deeper. In some ways I've gotten bigger in some ways. I am forever changed in some ways... I don't think that my physical body is the most important thing to come out of this very difficult time... I think it is--this is a time for us to offer compassion everywhere to our bodies and to each other."
Danielle Brooks says your body is your ride or die.
Similarly to Tracee, actress Danielle Brooks took to Instagram to emphasize the important role our bodies play in our lives. She proceeded to thank her temple accordingly:
"Why I am grateful for MY BODY: The body is your ride or die, literally. So I'm thankful for Good Health!! I'm thankful that my body functions at  regardless of the imperfections the world might see. It holds me up. It sustains me through long work weeks. It takes me on trips around the world, and carries me through my most stressful days and my most exciting. My body has my back, because it knows that I am learning to listen to what it needs to have it function at its best. I don't take my body for granted, so thank you body for taking me on an incredible ride this year!"
Alicia Keys thinks your body is a miracle.
Alicia Keys spoke to ELLE to share her beauty and wellness tips with the publication. When the subject of her body came up, the songstress recalled being insecure about the change affiliated with having children. She said:
"When I had kids, I felt like, 'Oh, my gosh, I'll never look the same ever again.' And that creates insecurity. It fluctuates and flows, but I feel like today, right now, I feel really good about my body. Every day, what your body does is a miracle. We're like the walking embodiments of miracles, and I like to remember that."
SZA believes the standard should come from within.
In a 2018 panel discussion with Girl Collective, SZA explained her journey to achieving positive self-image and learning to accept your self for yourself:
"It's all about where it starts in your mind. I think there are a lot of standards that people told me about that I didn't see. I started, I was 190 pounds, I only wore my dad's big t-shirts and socks on stage, no shoes, and didn't even notice; never complained or tripped about my makeup."
"It was just a matter of where I was in my mind, but I did also come out of that space where I was like, I feel like I want to change. I want to be different. I want to grow. I want to learn. I think it's one thing to be comfortable, but then it's one thing to not see your full potential and your full picture. The standard should really come [from] within."
Lizzo wants you to radically love on yourself today and every day.
A list about celebs embracing positive body self-image would not be complete without including "Juice" artist Lizzo. Though Lizzo is transparent that some days, loving herself and her body isn't always easy, self-love and self-acceptance is something she puts work into daily. Just like the rest of us:
"I started talking to my belly this year. Blowing her kisses and showering her with praises. I used to want to cut my stomach off I hated it so much. But it's literally ME. I am learning to radically love every part of myself. Even if it means talking to myself every morning. This is your sign to love on yourself today!"
Featured image by Tracee Ellis Ross/Instagram