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Tracee Ellis Ross Says A Woman’s Dream For Her Life Doesn’t Have To Include A Wedding Or Kids

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Tracee Ellis Ross is on an incredible roll in regards to her career.


With another Emmy nomination in the bag, it seems like the Golden Globe winner has hit her stride career wise. But as with many other career-focused women, there is always someone questioning them as to why they haven't already done the things people who are still living in the 1960s thinks should be at the top of the list for women: get married and have kids.

Related: Tracee Ellis Ross Doesn't Subscribe to Society's Deadlines

The actress recently spoke with ELLE Canada about why she has yet to "settle down," how a wedding is not every little girl's dream, and why she thinks self-care is more than a day at the spa.

She may be outspoken, but on whether or not she plans to get married one day and have kids, well, that's just none of your business. When asked about her personal life, the Black-ish star had a few things to say:

"In an interview the other day, someone said, 'I love how outspoken you are about deciding not to have children and choosing your career instead.' I said: 'Hold on. One: Yes, I am outspoken. Two: I have not 'chosen' whether I am having kids or not, because it's none of your business. Three: If I do choose whether or not to have a child or whether or not to have a husband, it has nothing to do with my career. And four: The reason that I'm outspoken is because....[Of questions like this!]"

Since the 1960s, it almost seems as if the media made it its mission to convince us women that getting married and having kids is the ultimate goal. From Disney movies to our television screens, the notion was that everyone should aspire to having a fairytale dream wedding and 2.5 kids all by a certain age. I mean, how can you be fulfilled in life without these things? (Please detect the sarcasm here). The fact of the matter is, while these things are important to some, everyone has a different picture of what a truly fulfilling life looks like for them. Ross says her mission in life would be to change this narrative. She continues:

"Yes! I want to shift the language. It drives me nuts. It contributes to this idea that young girls dream of a wedding and not the lives that they want or how they want to use their talents and what they want from their world. Marriage might be a part of that. But it might not. If I had one life mission—which this isn't because I have so many others!—it would be to dismantle that myth, that false belief."

Self-care has almost become a buzzword of the moment, and everyone claims they practice it. So much so that we even had #InternationalSelfCareDay recently trending on social media. From taking time to manicure your hands to monthly facials and massages, keeping up your fly is just one part of self-care. What are we doing to care for our minds and souls? The Girlfriends actress shares what self-care looks like for her and why setting boundaries is a huge part of the formula. She tells ELLe Canada:

"Self-care is being honest, first and foremost, with yourself. Knowing your boundaries. Knowing how to be of service. And having a sense of what your overflow [point] is...You have to learn. That a small 'no' is a big 'yes.' How to have the courage to say what you mean and mean what you say. To have boundaries without hacking up a relationship. Boundaries can be bridges; they don't have to equal excavating someone from your life. I've learned how to do that from friends and mentors, from having conversations, from having a willingness to share my discomfort, my shame and my fear and from making mistakes. That's a painstaking process that is sometimes like chewing on ground glass, but it's worth it."

The fashion killer also admits that while sometimes she can get down on herself, being loving towards herself and transparent with those around her has been a learning process. She reveals:

"I've learned how to be kind and loving to myself, even when I feel like I haven't done my best. It's very, very difficult. And also how to be transparent about that with people who I trust and feel safe with, who have taught me how to love myself even when I don't feel lovable."

The safety net of the right people can catch you when you feel like you're falling. Choosing those people can test your limits of trust and faith, but when you have the right support system, those people can help you see the light at the end of any proverbial tunnel. But not everyone in your life can be that shoulder to lean on, nor should they be. The Golden Globe winner says that compartmentalizing the people in your life is okay and that everyone doesn't have to be everything to you. She says:

"One of the things I've learned that has been incredibly helpful is that one person doesn't need to be all things to me at all times. It is okay that different people own different real estate in your heart. My closest and best friends are not in the industry—those are the friendships that start in an early place and time in your life."

Ross also talks about her version of being "woke" and how the #TimesUp movement created a community of women that have come together to use their voices to fight against sexual violence. The "tribe" quickly found out that they had more in common than the mission they set out on. She says:

"Being a high-functioning, compassionate human requires a lot of self-reflection and willingness to be...awake. I'm grateful that now is a time when everybody is wanting to use their voice. That feels exciting to me. #TimesUp actually did create a real tribe and community within Hollywood of women who share a unique experience. For me, it genuinely coalesced a group of women that I didn't have access to before. I would have never known that Reese Witherspoon and I had as much in common! There truly is a real camaraderie and support of one another [in that industry] that didn't exist before."

Building the right support system, practicing your unique version of self-care, and living your life on your terms are all necessary components to living a fulfilled life. There's no right or wrong way to do these things, so we all need to be more loving and forgiving of ourselves while we are on this journey towards our goals.

To read the rest of the interview with ELLE Canada, click here.

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