Tracee Ellis Ross On Criticism Women Face When They’re Unmarried And Successful


You already know Tracee Ellis Ross is a total boss: from her automatic coolness on account of being Diana Ross’ daughter, to her hilarious work in Black-ish, to her successful venture with JC Penney.

But even bosses can sometimes feel a little discredited.

In a presentation at the Glamour 2017 Women of the Year Awards, Ross said that all she’s worked hard for often gets swept under the rug when the subject of her relationship status and having no children yet at the age of 45 comes up.

“It’s really interesting to be a woman and to get to 45 and not be married and not have kids. Especially when you have just pushed out your fifth kid on TV. You start hearing crazy shit like: “Oh, you just haven’t found the right guy yet,” “What are you going to DO?” “Oh, you poor thing,” “why is someone like you still single,” “have you ever thought of having kids?” “why don’t you just have a kid on your own.” It’s never ending and not helpful,” she starts.

Like most girls growing up, Ross said she also dreamt of the perfect wedding, the perfect man choosing her, and having a little boy.

“But…I also dreamed of winning an Oscar and being on the cover of magazines and making a difference in the world, helping women find our voices,” she said. “And from that dreaming, I have built an incredible life. I have become a woman that I am proud to be. And then someone tells me about their friend who adopted a child at 52 and how ‘it’s never too late for your life to have meaning,’ and my worth gets diminished as I am reminded that I have ‘failed’ on the marriage and carriage counts. Me! This bold, liberated, independent woman.”

She is right to question why the roles of wife and mother are continually pushed on women who might not want to take on those roles yet, and those same rules being used as a yardstick to measure the ‘completeness’ of women.

“I mean, I work out, eat well, I mostly show up to work on time, I’m a good friend, a solid daughter, a hard worker, my credit is good, I take out the garbage before it gets smelly, I recycle, and I won a Golden Globe! I’m killing it! So, why? Why do I get snagged this way? As if all that I have done and who I am doesn’t matter,” she said.

She shared that she had a conversation with herself through journaling, and that it brought her to tears.

“I’m sitting there free writing, maybe conversing with my inner child, and I write down: MY LIFE IS MINE. My life is mine. Those words stopped me in my tracks and honestly brought so many tears to my eyes. Seems so obvious, but obviously it wasn’t. Because I have NOT been living my life as if it was my own.

To her, this meant not having to seek permission from others on when, how, and why she should feel validated.

Watch her be the life coach you didn’t know you needed here.



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