Tracee Ellis Ross: “My Picture Made Me Nauseous, But Then…”

tracee ellis ross

When it comes to loving who you are, inside and out, many of us, at one time or another have a hard time doing it. We may not like our nose, our body, our hair, etc. This self-loathing happens with celebrities too. Actress Tracee Ellis Ross explains how she didn’t like herself, but learned to celebrate all of her.

But to think, the beautiful daughter of legendary Diana Ross didn’t like how she looked? How could that be?

I know…we didn’t believe it either, but here’s what she has to say about her lovely, bodacious, 49-year-old body:

…. A pic [of me] made me nauseous the first time I saw it. I thought my face looked crazy but the pic is always popping up somewhere so I’m embracing it…crazy eyes, bra bulge and all.”

“I love my butt in a way I didn’t growing up,”
the Golden Globe-winning “Black-ish” star told Health magazine. “I really didn’t like it growing up. It was so much bigger than everybody else’s, and I wanted jeans to look the way they did on everybody else, and mine didn’t.”

“Then, in my 30s, I started to get comfortable with the largeness of my personality. The same thing with my butt. I tried getting really, really skinny, and I learned that no matter how thin I got, I was still gonna have a butt,” she explained.

She goes on to say: “I’m proud of my body now—I work very hard to keep my body, because my booty could drop… Gravity is not a joke.”

This year, Tracee took her newfound love for herself, allowed her to remember where she came from: the beautiful Diana Ross: singer, entertainer and just all around beautiful diva. So much so, that she decided to recreate her mom’s classic video.

“I decided to recreate my mom’s ‘Work That Body’ video from 1981 as a fun experiment and a surprise for my mama! And ODE to her! While she has so, so many incredible moments to choose from, this one had an impact on me. At first I wasn’t sure why, but in true ‘Tracee’ fashion I became a little obsessed. I like to study these things until I am clear about what I’m seeing, what it’s making me feel, and why,” she wrote on her website. “I am keenly aware of how we as women (and most specifically women of color) are presented and portrayed in media and how we present ourselves. And here was my mama from almost 30 years ago on the surface doing something that often snags me in videos today but why did I feel differently about it?”

The former Girlfriends star said her mom looks “stupid gorgeous” in the original music video, as Ross was 36 years old at the time and had already given birth to three daughter. While “it’s a celebration of music and style and the ’80s,” Ellis Ross explained on her site, “there is something more.” Ellis Ross felt “joyful and empowered” while watching her mom. Take a look at the mashup video below:

Yet, this distaste in herself shed light on another issue many Black women are concerned about–their hair.

More and more these days, many ladies are coveting curl patterns that aren’t their own, a trending topic that Tracee is addressing by launching her “Hair Love” Campaign–a call to action for women to start loving own natural hair.

Prompted by an Instagram meme from AroundTheWayCurls showing a little girl crying with a caption reading, “That moment you realize you don’t have Tracee Ellis Ross’s hair,” the 40-year-old star created a video response to express her gratitude–but to also explain her views on the matter.

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