As we know, if anyone is the queen of solo travel, it's Tracee Ellis Ross. Year after year, she takes her banging body poolside, or to somebody's island, in an effort to show us how this shit is really done.
She has perfected the 'solo selfie', and is a master at teaching the art of self-love, and working hard, but absolutely playing much frickin' harder.
And this vacay was no different as our good sis packed up her bags and headed where the beaming sun resides.
She didn't say much, just enjoyed, and captured glimpses of her getaway. She laughed. She danced. She rested. She slayed. She was boundless in her "me time", a lesson we all needed as we gear up for a panorama-less summer, or at least a new normal. But most of all, she was unapologetic in why she was there, with simple captions, mainly one that kicked off the trip:
"Consider this my out of office reply!"
And listen, it's no secret that Ross is happily single and not waiting for anyone--a man OR friends--to catch these flights. She's living openly, on her own terms, and living her best life doing so. She tells Brit + Co:
"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."
Which she wants you to learn to be as well. And if you aren't sure how to do so, she has a bit of advice: baby steps.
"I would experiment going to a restaurant at 8pm on your own on a Saturday night to see how it feels. You start to get a sense of what it is that you're comfortable with."
What better way to jumpstart the summer than to revist some of our favorite Tracee vacays?
Keep scrolling for your reminder that this year is THE year to take that solo trip, boo!
Tracee Ellis Ross/Instagram
Tracee Ellis Ross/Instagram
Tracee Ellis Ross/Instagram
Tracee Ellis Ross/Instagram
Tracee Ellis Ross/Instagram
And bonus! Here's a clip of Tracee discussing her vacations below:
Oh, Tracee. How we love you so. How we don't deserve you authenticity, but we welcome it. We're not worthy but we thank you!
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Featured image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Marc Jacobs
This post is in partnership with Amgen.
The seemingly simple task of taking a breath is something most of us don’t think twice about. But for people who live with severe asthma, breathing does not always come easily. Asthma, a chronic respiratory condition that inflames and narrows the airways in the lungs, affects millions of people worldwide – 5-10% of which live with severe asthma. Severe asthma is a chronic and lifelong condition that is unpredictable and can be difficult to manage. Though often invisible to the rest of the world, severe asthma is a not-so-silent companion for those who live with it, often interrupting schedules and impacting day-to-day life.
Among the many individuals who battle severe asthma, Black women face a unique set of challenges. It's not uncommon for us to go years without a proper diagnosis, and finding the right treatment often requires some trial and error. Thankfully, all hope is not lost for those who may be fighting to get their severe asthma under control. We spoke with Juanita Brown Ingram, Esq. and Jania Watson, two inspiring Black women who have been living with severe asthma and have found strength, resilience, and a sense of purpose in their journeys.
Juanita Brown Ingram, Esq.
Juanita Ingram has a resume that would make anyone’s jaw drop. On top of being recently crowned Mrs. Universe, she’s also an accomplished attorney, filmmaker, and philanthropist. From the outside, it seems there’s nothing this talented woman won’t try, and likely succeed at. In her everyday life, however, Juanita exercises a lot more caution. From a young age, Juanita has struggled with severe asthma. Her symptoms were always exacerbated by common illnesses like a cold or flu. “I've heard these stories of my breathing struggles, but I remember distinctly when I was younger not being able to breathe every time I got a virus,” says Ingram. “I remember missing a lot of school and crying a lot because asthma is painful. I [was taken] to see my doctor often if I got sick with anything so I was hypervigilant as a child, and I still am.”
Today, Juanita says her symptoms are best managed when she’s working closely with her care team, avoiding getting sick and staying ahead of any symptoms. Ingram said she’s been blessed with skilled doctors who are just as vigilant of her symptoms as she is. While competing in the Mrs. Universe competition, Juanita took extra care to stay clear of other competitors to ensure she didn’t catch a cold or virus that would trigger her severe asthma. “I would stand off to the side and sometimes that could be taken as ‘oh, she thinks she's better than everybody else.’ But if I get sick during a pageant, I'm done. I had to compete with that in mind because my sickness doesn't look like everybody else's sickness.”
Even when her symptoms are under control, living with severe asthma still presents challenges. Juanita relies on her strong support system to overcome the hurdles caused by a lack of understanding from the public, “I think that there's a lot of lack of awareness about how serious severe asthma is. I would [also] tell women to advocate and to trust their intuition and not to allow someone to dismiss what you're experiencing.”
Jania, a content creator from Atlanta, Georgia, has been living with severe asthma for many years. Thanks to early testing by asthma specialists, Jania was diagnosed with severe asthma as a child after experiencing frequent flare-ups and challenges in her day-to-day life. “I specifically remember, I was starting school, and we were moving into a new house. One of the triggers for me and my younger sister at the time were certain types of carpets. We had just moved into this new house and within weeks of us being there, my parents literally had to pay for all new carpet in the house.”
As Jania grew older, she was suffering from fewer flare-ups and thought her asthma was well under control. However, a trip back to her doctor during high school revealed that her severe asthma was affecting her more than she realized. “That was the first time in a long time I had to do a breathing test,” she describes. “The doctor had me take a deep breath in and blow into a machine to test my breathing. They told me to blow as hard as I could. And I was doing it. I was giving everything I got. [My dad and the doctor] were looking at me like ‘girl, stop playing.’ And at that point [it confirmed] I still have severe asthma because I've given it all I got. It doesn't really go away, but I just learned how to help manage it better.”
Jania recognizes that people who aren’t living with asthma, may not understand the disease and mistake it for something less serious. Or there could be others who think their symptoms are minor, and not worth bringing up. So, for Jania, communicating with others about her diagnosis is key. “Having severe asthma [flare-ups] in some cases looks very similar to being out of shape,” she said. “But this is a chronic illness that I was born with. This is just something that I live with that I've been dealing with. And I think it's important for people to know because that determines the next steps. [They might ask] ‘Do you need a bottle of water, or do you need an inhaler? Do you need to take a break, or do we need to take you to the hospital?’ So, I think letting the people around you know what's going on, just in case anything were to happen plays a lot into it as well.”
Like Juanita, Jania’s journey has been marked by ups and downs, but she remains an unwavering advocate for asthma awareness and support within the Black community. She hopes that her story can be an inspiration to other women with asthma who may not yet have their symptoms under control. “There's still life to be lived outside of having severe asthma. It is always going to be there, but it's not meant to stop you from living your life. That’s why learning how to manage it and also having that support system around you, is so important.”
By sharing their journeys, Juanita and Jania hope to encourage others to embrace their conditions, obtain a proper management plan from a doctor or asthma specialist like a pulmonologist or allergist, and contribute to the improvement of asthma awareness and support, not only within the Black community, but for all individuals living with severe asthma.
Read more stories from others like Juanita and Jania on Amgen.com, or visit Uncontrolled Asthma In Black Women | BREAK THE CYCLE to find support and resources.
Actor Sterling K. Brown has spent years playing a devoted husband and father on the hit television show, This Is Us. But in real life, his love story was almost put on pause after being friend-zoned by his wife, Ryan Michelle Bathe.
The American Fiction star stopped by the Sherri show and opened up about how his wife of 18 years initially put him in the “friend zone” before they progressed to a romantic relationship.
“She did put me in the friend zone,” he recalled to the talk show host. “But let me tell you something about that: Brown wasn’t going to stay in that friend zone.”
Because of the feelings he had for the First Wives Club actress, Brown expressed his need to give Bathe space until she was ready for a deeper commitment. “I had to stop talking to her for a minute because I had to let her know ‘Look I don’t want to be your friend. I want to be something a little bit more than that. So until you’re ready....we can just hang out for a little bit,'" he says.
Luckily, the Emmy-winner’s patient persistence paid off and the two now share a dynamic that Brown says is “almost like brother and sister and husband and wife at the same time.”
Sterling K. Brown and Ryan Michelle Bathe’s love story dates back to their college days as students at Stanford University in 1998. In 2006, the two eloped and, in the following year, celebrated with a more extensive wedding. They are now parents of two sons, Andrew, 12, and Amaré, 8.
Now, the two are taking on a new project together as co-hosts of their upcoming podcast, We Don’t Always Agree, that’s said to give listeners a peek into their approach to topics ranging from marriage advice, parenthood, politics, and more.
“After 18 years of marriage, you don’t always agree, but you figure it out,” he says. “You make a decision every day to say ‘yes’ to your partner. And we’ve said ‘yes’ for 18 years — and we’re really, really happy.”
“We sort of approach things slightly differently. She has a different perspective as a Black woman, and I as a Black man," Brown adds.
After nearly two decades of being together, the Honk For Jesus actor says that the secret to a happy marriage is ultimately about having fun and sharing playful humor with each other. “Me and my wife laugh a lot,” he says. “We’ll be married 18 years in March, and one of the secrets to that is being able to laugh at and with each other.”
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Featured image by Matt Winkelmeyer/WireImage