by Meagan FaisonFirst, let us take a moment to acknowledge the greatness that is Tracee Ellis Ross.
Most recently, Tracee Ellis Ross made headlines for being the first black woman in 30 years to receive an Emmy nomination for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series for her role in Blackish. You may also recognize her as Joan from Girlfriends or even as the daughter of R&B legend Diana Ross.
In recent years, Tracee Ellis Ross has proved her staying-power in Hollywood. And whether she’s channelling Rainbow Johnson, Joan, T-Murda or Tracee, there is so much that we can learn from her.
“I want to be awake. I want to choose kindness, live and let live. I want joy, gratitude, and peace today.” -Tracee Ellis Ross
Create your own spotlight.
“Because of my unique experience as my mom's child, the beginning of my journey was more about me trying to figure out who I was on my own.”
Tracee Ellis Ross is the daughter of Motown superstar Diana Ross and music executive Robert Ellis Silberstein. Imagine growing up with a mother who’s a Supreme. Tracee made it work though and before bursting onto the acting scene, she spent some time in the fashion world as a model and magazine editor.
Own your selfhood.
To me, Tracee Ellis Ross has a very unique look. While most actresses seem to have a softer type of beauty (I’m thinking like Kerry Washington or Meagan Good), Tracee’s look is much more dynamic, in my opinion. Her cheekbones are to die for. She has big, bright eyes, a distinguished nose and her trademark curly hair. But the point is, in an industry where it’s so easy to be the same as the next person, she owns everything that makes her different.
“My goal is to make space for my selfhood. All of it. All of me, not just the parts I like or think that others like but all of it. I am committed to bringing back, by being messy. I mean, come on! My boobs do not belong up here! They’re down here! When I wear the bra that makes it go up there it makes dents in my shoulders! This is where God put them! I think it’s OK!”
Be more than just a pretty face.
“I was very shy growing up. My shyness manifested as a big personality, as opposed to the wallflower personality. It's been a journey getting comfortable in my skin. I've worked on trying to find the authentic balance between the bravado of my personality that was sort of a defense and the truth within my bigness.”
Tracee Ellis Ross has a beauty that is much more than skin deep; this woman comes with a big personality. In her most memorable roles and characters she is alway a bit extra and never at a loss for words. Rather than just playing a part though, it’s her genuineness and quirky persona that really makes her so relatable.
Never give up.
Despite being the daughter of Diana Ross, Tracee’s road to Hollywood wasn’t paved with yellow bricks. She started like many other actors in smaller projects and eventually worked her way up the ladder. Since getting her breakout role on Girlfriends in 2000, Tracee has received numerous nominations and awards, including 5 NAACP Image Awards.
“As a younger person, my philosophy was jump off a cliff. I realize now that there are stairs and elevators. I am learning every day to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire me and not terrify me.”
Thanks for the inspiration Tracee!