Black-ish Star Tracee Ellis Ross Talks Hair, Black Standards of Beauty


Last week I published a piece on this site about how a white dude at the opera called me “disgusting” after I refused pull back my naturally curly hair. I wrote that my hair looked “more Tracee Ellis-Ross in Black-ish than Diana Ross’s 1983 Central Park performance.” Translation: I was having a tame hair day. And now, just four days after name-checking the goddess there’s an interview with Tracee Ellis Ross in the New York Times Magazine where she addresses black standards of beauty and also her hair.


Here are some highlights from her interview with New York Times Magazine’s Jenna Wortham:

I love how women have responded to you in particular, especially the way you wear your hair out in this gorgeous storm cloud. A storm cloud? Is that what you said?
I may have said that, yes. That’s lovely. Women are asked to put forward, to a certain extent, a mask. And for black women, that has taken on greater significance, because the standard of beauty has not necessarily had the space for different definitions of beauty. I’m trying to find my own version of what makes me feel beautiful.

+1 to trying to find my own version of what makes me feel beautiful.

Growing up, I think my only touchstone for natural hair was Tia and Tamera on “Sister, Sister.” You’re obviously much younger than me. For me, it was my mom, first and foremost. She is always saying to me, “The bigger the better.”

Mmhm, yes girl, preach.

Image via AP

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