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 think should be at the top of the list for women: get married and have kids.
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 have 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 ELLECanada:
"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 toward our goals.
To read the rest of the interview with ELLE Canada, click here.
Featured image via Tracee Ellis Ross/Instagram
Michelle Schmitz is a writer and editor based in Washington, DC originally from Ft Lauderdale, FL. A self-described ambivert, you can find her figuring out ways to read more than her monthly limit of The New York Times, attending concerts, and being a badass, multi-tasking supermom. She also runs her own blog MichelleSasha.com. Keep up with her latest moves on IG: @michellesashawrites and Twitter: @michellesashas
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
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Featured image by Stephen Zeigler/Getty Images