So far this year, Tracee launched her PATTERN haircare line, has taught us how to take the perfect solo vacay selfie, turn any bad day into a blessing, and helped us get our skincare routine all the way together, but before she became the multifaceted mogul that we see before us today, Tracee had to go through a period of growth.
In a matter of ten years, Tracee says she has become her own #LifeGoals but told Julee Wilson, host of The Color Files podcast, that the height of her career didn't come until her mid-40's. Recently, the 46-year-old actress opened up about the secret to success, and I'll give you a hint: it wasn't linear.
Before we met Rainbow Barris on the small screen in 2014, there was Joan Carol Clayton, star of one of the highest rated shows among young Black people in the history of television. Despite Girlfriends' wildly successful six-season run, at the time, mainstream television failed to put respect on Tracee's name that it deserved. She explained:
"My career was not handed to me. When I was on 'Girlfriends', I couldn't even get on a late-night show. No joke. I was never on Jay Leno, David Letterman, any of those shows. And I remember the talent agent at one of those late-night talk shows said, 'Call us when Tracee gets something. She's amazing. We love her. Call us when she gets something.'"
Trying to live out your dream when you're the only one who can see the vision can be hard, and Tracee learned this firsthand. The Black-ish star said that while at the beginning of her career, invites to award shows like the Emmys and the Golden Globes were slim to none, over time, her vision became a reality:
"I'd never gone to any of those award shows. All of that has happened since I got on 'Black-ish' in my mid-40s. None of that was a part of my experience in the early part of my career."
Although Girlfriends may not have gotten the widespread acclaim that she anticipated, she later learned that her experience was only paving the foundation for her future. She continued:
"What it did is it It forced my soul to continue to search for what it longed for, dreamt of, wanted to be. It allowed me to continue to create an unbreakable, unshakeable foundation for my life, a relationship with myself that was based not on what everybody outside is saying, but was about what I believed was good and right."
While evolving into this higher version of herself was uncomfortable at times, growth doesn't really happen in your comfort zone, does it? Tracee said that becoming aware of this fact ultimately helped her evolve into the grown-ass woman of her dreams:
"It allowed me to continue to grow as a person and realize what it is that I wanted from my life, what it is that I wanted to share, what I had to offer, that I was enough, that I really felt that I was deserving and worthy of many of these things in my career but I might never get the opportunity to do them or to have them. I could own my success, but I could also own what might look like failure. I could just be with me. I could literally be my own best friend and mirror and my worth is not tangled up in what even I think I should be getting."
There's a difference between thinking you grown and actually being a grown-ass woman, and Tracee leads by example. Along with celebrating your successes and accepting your failures, true growth involves staying hydrated, loving freely, and accepting nothing less than spectacular sex.
Scroll below for a full list of grown-ass woman commandments as told by Tracee:
1. "Giggle as much as possible."
2. "Get your sleep."
"People say sleep when you're dead; I don't agree. Sleep when you're tired. That's what you do if you can."
3. "Drink so much water."
4. "Have as much sex as possible."
"Sorry, Mom, but it's true! Brings out the best in your skin."
Tracee also edited her caption to clarify what kind of sex you should be having as much as possible. She added, "Consensual, connected, yummy, good & safe sex. Not just any sex."
5. "Love with a full and open heart."
"You'll stay young forever, I swear."
Featured image by Instagram/@TraceeEllisRoss.
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Originally published October 3, 2019