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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Featured image by Taylor Hill/WireImage via Getty Images