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We can always count on Tracee Ellis Ross to speak the truth and nothing but the truth. She keeps it real—one of the top 10 reasons we love her so. But reason number one? That glorious head of hair of hers.

In a recent interview with The New York Times, the actress opens up about black beauty and the role her curly crown plays in her life and on her hit television show black-ish:

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. On “black-ish,” there’s a lot that has to be done working around my hair, in terms of scheduling.

How do you have to schedule around your hair?

I play a doctor, so my hair has to be back when I’m in scrubs. I wouldn’t be at the hospital with my natural big hair out, so I usually have a bun. They try to schedule a lot of those scenes in the same day, so we don’t have to go from having my hair out to having it in. You can’t go from a bun to out and expect to look gorgeous.

Tracee lives by one rule of thumb: “the bigger the better,” one of the many things she learned from her diva-of-a-mom, Diana Ross:

What was it like to be raised by Diana Ross, surrounded by so much glamour?

Well, my mom was very glamorous, but that was her work world. Our home was filled with beautiful things. My mom had beautiful clothes; my mom is elegant; my mom is glamorous. But my mom is also really real, and I grew up with a mother who had babies crawling on her head and spitting up on her when she was wearing gorgeous, expensive things, and it was never an issue.

When asked whether she’s still trying to adapt to Hollywood and growing up in the world as Diana Ross’ daughter, she said:

I don’t know. I just really strongly promote pushing against this culture of perfection. I mean, I’m sorry, for me, Spanx don’t feel good. I’ve tried one of those waist-trainer things on — that hurt like the bejesus. I could barely get it closed, and I bought the size bigger than they said I should buy. I mean, this [expletive] hurt. I couldn’t wear it for longer than 10 minutes. People are sleeping in them!

Waist trainers: They aren’t for everybody!

Peep the rest of Tracee’s interview to see what she has to say about her alter egos, including your rapper’s favorite rapper, TMurda.


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