Black-ish actress Tracee Ellis Ross has always been outspoken about how “conventional” beauty standards affect black women, especially black women on television and in movies. When asked about her natural hair in an interview with The New York Times Magazine, she had the perfect response.
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. On “black-ish,” there’s a lot that has to be done working around my hair, in terms of scheduling.
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.”