Don’t we all just love Tracee Ellis Ross?
Tracee has been a part of our lives for years and she has inspired so many of with her poise, intelligence and her contagious laughter. Many of us first met Tracee 12 years ago (2000) as Joan Carol Clayton, Ross’ biggest career achievement — a successful (and often neurotic) lawyer looking for love, challenges, and adventure, in the hit UPN/CW series Girlfriends. The series centered on four young African-American women. Her success in this role landed her two NAACP Image Awards in the category, Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series in 2007 and again in 2009.
Since the finale of every brown girls favorite show we have watched Tracee’s career sparkle in HollyWood with her appearances in the HBO movie Life Support, the Tyler Perry theatrical movie, Daddy’s Little Girls, the film Labor Pains. I was sooo excited to see Tracee again weekly in her leading role in the BET sitcom, Reed Between the Lines. Did you know that Tracee also won an NAACP Image Award in the category, Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in Reed Between the Lines this year!?
Tracee is a hair, beauty and fashion icon at the same damn time.
I was honored to meet Tracee this summer at the Optimum Hair Care Event with CurlyNikki. It was more than just a meeting it was an embrace. I hugged and kissed her and chatted with her for a bit. She complimented my hair, commented on my fab lipstick and even told me that she reads my website!!! NO WAY!!
Can you imagine how high I jumped when I received an invitation to speak with Tracee this week alongside a few of my fellow bloggers about her new website TraceeEllisRoss.com!?
I had the honor of leading the discussion with Tracee, you know I had to ask about hair. LOL
You are a natural hair icon and many women who are already natural and are just going natural look to you as an inspiration. Will you share educational pieces about natural hair on the site?
I am not an expert, just an individual who has had quite the hair journey. Because of my own hair I have discovered a lot. The overall theme of the site is just to use myself as a springboard. My hair is a huge part of my life and for most black women and for most women with curly hair this is true as well. I can’t say that it will be educational, but I will be sharing my journey and what works for me. Because of the type of person I am, when I share where I am in the present moment, it often reaches back to where it started, so that will come up. I already have a “How to hair post(LINK THIS)” up. My point always is to stress that there isn’t just one way to do it, or one way to treat your hair. And that’s the theme of how I will use that section of the site.
Will you create video blogs of your life so that we all can tune in?
I spend a lot of time in photobooth. I absolutely love it and use it to take photos of myself when I’m playing dress up. Videos would be a great part of what I am doing with the site because it is what I enjoy. I come from T.V.-it’s what I do. Making the videos would be a great way for to show off my hair to everyone.
You’re a fashion icon and you inspire many women with your style. Will you be incorporating stories about body image, self acceptance, and empowerment on your site?
Of course! I touched on that with my “A Culture Confused by Fake Boobs” story. I will say that I’m incredibly uncomfortable with having the word “icon” anywhere near my name. It makes me SO uncomfortable. Probably because I’m the offspring of a REAL icon and I don’t feel like I’m anywhere at that place in my life though I’m so humbled by that. Body image is huge for me. Acceptance of ourselves no matter what we look like is so important. We are all stunning and beautiful because we are all children of God. So that message will always be a part of anything I do because it is a core belief of mine.
What has the experience been like since you decided to create this new site?
I think this has been a lifetime journey if you want to know the truth. The evolution of the internet has changed so much of what you can do with it. Keep in mind that when Girlfriends was on the air, social media did not even exist! So up until recently, I had no real way of connecting to people who connected to [the characters]. So the last year I really spent growing in my relationship with social media. At first I was very uncomfortable with it. I come from a public family so I inherently am very private. But what I came to realize was that people were responding to a lot of the same things that I respond to and that I was interested in. So that spawned the thought that it could become more than just me interacting with people via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Websites used to be more of a portfolio, as they have evolved now you can do so much more and you have a different relationship with your audience. The desire to create a lifestyle website was there from the start. And my hope is that it eventually moves away from being just TraceeEllisRoss.com and it becomes a world and a tribe of other like-minded people.
What will be included in the Well-Being section of your site?
Well-Being is a huge part of myself. The theme of that section is “Mind, Body, Spirit. It will cover all different things from how I nourish myself with food to how I nourish myself spiritually. I’ll share my work outs and recipes as well. My point of view will be to share many of the things I’ve discovered.
Where do you get visual inspiration from in terms of style and beauty?
Oh God, it comes from anywhere! I could get style inspiration from a flower. Since I was young, I’ve always called my closet my “happy place”. I moved to Paris when I was about 12 years old with my family. Then I went to boarding school in Switzerland and there are many things I got from living abroad. One of them being that I came to understand that I was a child of the world and not just the US. From an emotional standpoint, I really gained a relationship to the “outer” of clothing and how it related to me in an “inner” way. This idea that clothing started as an armor and a way that I protected myself and now has become a way that I express myself. I truly find inspiration in many different places, but when I go to get dress I choose based on actually what I want to wear or a look that I want to copy. But mostly it’s about how I feel, which is why I thinks style is truly from inner to outer.
You’ve mentioned that you love social media, has it helped in unifying people?
For me, it has helped me connect with people who connect with me in an intimate way. When you do an interview it’s someone elses interpretation. With social media I get to share with you my interpretation of myself. It is very fun and exciting. There are a lot of people who are interested in what I am interested in. It took a lot of contemplation and a lot of meditation for me to feel comfortable with what to post. I am from a public family and I am very private but my privacy is around what is sacred to me and not pimping that out. There are certain things that deserve privacy. Sometimes you want to discover things about the person you are dating before the entire world finds it out. The over share factor can be delicious and fun. If you don’t want it on a billboard, then don’t tweet it.
Will you be including your celebrity friends like Kanye, or style expert besties like Chuck Amos on the site as well?
Eventually I hope to share all aspects of my world. I have a lot of people in my world who you might not know but they are the shiznizzle, let me tell ya! My best friend – I want her to have a whole section! I think the people around me are way more exciting than I am. So yes, if Kanye wants to do that or if my best friend wants a section, I hope that this is a place for them to do so. And by the way, that’s not only for people I know, but I hope that eventually I end up meeting some people I didn’t know before and being able to introduce them to my community though the website. That is the beauty to me, is that this is a way to connect and become a community – not just a way for me to be seen. So yes, that will happen!
Who are your personal style/beauty/inspiration icons?
The list could go on and on! I mean, obviously my mother has influenced my style. From a real practical sense because I take ALL her sh**! I mean I have been known to shove stuff down my shirt when she’s said “No you cannot take that.” I have left with bracelets in my boobs! (Laughs) My mom will see me and be like “That is so pretty, I have something like that!”. So obviously my Mom is one. Love Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Dian00a Vreeland, I love the 70’s as an era, Cher, Daphne Guiness – I love her boldness, Nina Simone, Kate Moss has style that makes me want to fall over, Cristy Turlington has incredibly beauty. And I LOVE noses. I love a strong nose. The kind of noses that make people uncomfortable and make them possibly want to get a nose job.