Hollywood actress Tracee Ellis Ross is the latest star to feature on Glamour Magazine‘s February 2018 Issue.
Speaking to the magazine, the star actress opens up about being single, loving her life and owning her sexuality. She also shares how her mother taught her about love and what winning awards and accolades mean to her.
Read excerpts from the interview below:
On what awards and accolades mean to her: There’s the personal gratification: I have dreamt of moments like these since I was a little girl, accepting my Oscar in the mirror. So it’s a dream come true. Oh my God, I made it. Pinch me. But what has been way more impactful for me is the larger meaning…. When another woman or another woman of color has a win, I feel like it’s my win. I feel like it’s a ceiling breaking open. And so the nominations, even the win, really feels like it’s not mine. It’s like something becomes more possible.
On being raised to be sex-positive: My mom is a sexy woman—that is part of her persona—and that is a delicious thing that has never felt scary to me. Recently I learned this wonderful term, sex-positive, and that is the way I feel. The answer to the objectification of women and black women in our culture is not to shut down my sexuality but to own it as something that is mine.
On if her mom ever tried to dissuade her from going into modeling and then show business: No, she actually helped me do all of those things. My mom was in my first meeting with Wilhelmina, the modeling agency. She set it up. I did the Thierry Mugler fashion show because of her. Thierry Mugler had asked her to do it, and she said the only way I’ll do it is if you let my daughter walk too. So my mom never dissuaded it; although I will say, she was very big on saying things like, “You sure you don’t want to be a doctor?” Her sister is a world-renowned doctor: Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee, the first black female dean of a medical school. So we had all of those options open to us. But what I saw in my mother was a woman with a platform, who had agency in her life. I walked toward that.
On what her mom taught her about love: I have never heard my mom say, ‘Not now—I don’t have time.’ Even now, in the middle of the night, my mom will answer the telephone. It’s incredible to know you are loved in a way that somebody is there for you. That’s something that I have used in my relationships with friends. My friends know: My home phone ringer doesn’t turn off. You need me in the middle of the night? I am your girl. I will bring you to the hospital. I will call you if you are frightened.
On the #MeToo movement: This is connected wholeheartedly to consent. It can be as simple as asking, May I hug you? I ask my therapist that before I leave the office—I say, “May I hug you?” Ask the question: “Is it OK for me to hug you? Is it OK for me to ask that?” That’s all you have to do. And then, if somebody is even offended by the question, then the response is “I’m so sorry, I didn’t know.” End of story.
Interview by: Emily Mahaney