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Tracee Ellis Ross Is Over Society Spoon-Feeding Marriage To Women
Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

Tracee Ellis Ross Is Over Society Spoon-Feeding Marriage To Women

"I would still love all of that, but what am I going to do, just sit around waiting? Shut up."

Tracee Ellis Ross

If there one thing in this world that you can be sure of, it's that we love us some Tracee Ellis Ross. She is the big sister we all wish we had, who is on a quest to live her best life, and absolutely nothing else. Not only that, she shows us that we can all do the same, by stripping ourselves of society's ideals and just...be.


And her relatable way of doing so is why we continue to come back for more. 

But this time, her message of marriage is what she's set her sights on, telling us all, that yeah, marriage may be nice, but waiting around on it is not the move. In an interview with Marie Claire, when asked for the hundredth time if she ever longed for a "traditional" life with the husband and picket fence, she answered in the most Tracee way:

"Well, how could you not? Our society spoon-feeds it to you. 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."

Shut. Up. I've. Got. So. Many. Things. To. Do.

And historically, she has expressed the same to others who've asked, as she's told anyone who will listen that we must normalize loving ourselves, first, openly, and unapologetically. And the way she says so, is always the content we deserve in our lives.

Additionally, she also touches on other brave subjects from Black-ish, to the type of mom her mother was, to the characters she'd most love to play. Continue reading for all the Tracee goodness!

On Playing Lucille Ball One Day:

After the interviewer suggests she should play Lucille Ball in an upcoming biopic due to their animated conversation, she shoots back:

"Do you know how many people would be upset if a Black woman played Lucille Ball?! But I want to so badly. Do you know who else I wanted to play? I wanted to play Miss Hannigan in Annie. Oh my God. It was my dream! My mom used to let me stay up late to watch Carol Burnett. And, no, none of these women are Black or looked like me, but I saw myself in them."

On Adjusting To Being A CEO:

"I've been in a growth curve around CEO stuff. And then I've got to get up at 5 a.m. and go to work [as an actress] and be pretty. Wooo, I want to go to bed. Oh my God, I just want to wear my glasses for the day.

But don't expect her to be a diva in the role:

"As a CEO, it's a lot of this [points to her temple] but I have to remind myself to stay connected to my heart and my gut. I don't know many people who thrive when they're yelled at. I shop the most when I feel good. I'm not sure why we have a marketing system that is based on shaming people. I don't get it. When I feel small, I don't want to do shit."

On Becoming Ulta's Diversity and Inclusion Advisor:

"I want the world to be a better place. And I want Black people to feel really good walking into a retail space."

On the Pandemic Stifling Her Fashion Creativity:

"I don't miss the frenzy of the red carpet. I don't miss the panic of the red carpet. But I miss beautiful clothes. I miss that form of creative expression for me. I miss glamour."

On Learning to Love Her Hair: 

"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence; it is self-preservation and is an act of political warfare. Learning to love my hair in a world that doesn't mirror that celebration has been a form of both resistance and the claiming of my identity, my self-hood, my legacy, my ancestral lines, the history that I come from."

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Featured image by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

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That's right, the first pandemic I lived through was not Covid, but the pandemic of the Black male relationship expert. I was young – thirteen to be exact – when Steve Harvey published his best-selling book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. Though he was still just a stand-up comedian, oversized suit hoarder, and man on his third marriage at the time, his relationship advice was taken as the gospel truth.

The 2000s were a particularly bleak time to be a single Black woman. Much of the messaging –created by men – that surrounded Black women at the time blamed their desire for a successful career and for a partner that matched their drive and ambition for the lack of romance in their life. Statistics about Black women’s marriageability were always wielded against Black women as evidence of our lack of desirability.

It’s no wonder then that a man that donned a box cut well into the 2000s was able to convince women across the nation to not have sex for the first three months of a relationship. Or that a slew of other Black men had their go at telling Black women that they’re not good enough and why their book, seminar, or show will be the thing that makes them worthy of a Good Man™.

This is how we end up marrying men who cancel twice before taking us on a “date” in the Popeyes parking lot, or husbands writing social media posts about how their Black wife is not “the most beautiful” or “the most intelligent” or the latest season of trauma dumping known as Black Love on OWN.

Now that I’ve reached my late twenties, many things about how Black women approach dating and relationships have changed and many things have remained the same. For many Black women, the idea of chronic singleness is not the threat that it used to be. Wanting romance doesn’t exist in a way that threatens to undermine the other relationships we have with our friends, family, and ourselves as it once did, or at least once was presented to us. There is a version of life many of us are embracing where a man not wanting us, is not the end of what could still be fruitful and vibrant life.

There are still Black women out there however who have yet to unlearn the toxic ideals that have been projected onto us about our worthiness in relation to our intimate lives. I see it all the time online. The absolute humiliation and disrespect some Black women are willing to stomach in the name of being partnered. The hoops that some Black women are willing to jump through just to receive whatever lies beneath the bare minimum.

It's worth remembering that there are different forces at play that gather to make Black women feast off the scraps we are given. A world saturated by colorism, fatphobia, anti-Blackness, ableism, and classism will always punish Black women who demand more for themselves. Dismantling these systems also means divesting from any and everything that makes us question our worth.

Because truth be told, Black women are more than worthy of having a love that is built on mutual respect and admiration. A love that is honey sweet and radiates a light that rivals the sun. A love that is a steadying calming force that doesn’t bring confusion or anxiety. Black women deserve a love that is worthy of the prize that we are.

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Featured image: Getty Images

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