Tracee Ellis Ross: "It’s Huge That I’m Wearing My Natural Hair Texture in Primetime"

Tracee Ellis Ross continues to inspire with her brilliance and beauty. Since her days as Joan Clayton, she's been known for her incredible curly hair. And in a short essay published by Entertainment Weekly, she championed her the presence of her natural hair on TV.

I think what is important about Viola Davis taking her wig off on How to Get Away With Murder is that it illustrates that there is a mask that women are thought to have to wear. For black women, it can be a more complex mask. Our culture has created a very limited view of what beauty is and can be. I think right now television is one of the places where women are pushing up against that and saying, “You know what? I don’t need to play this game anymore in order to be considered beautiful.”

My mom [Diana Ross] is known for her big hair. So me embracing my big hair was not outside the frame of reference of where I come from. What I think is exciting is that to a certain extent, there is a revolution happening where black women are owning their own beauty, despite the standard of beauty that in the past has not had space for it.

I think it’s huge that I’m wearing my natural hair texture on ABC in prime time. As Dr. Rainbow Johnson on black-ish, I think my hair is part of the reality of this woman’s life. She has four children and is an anesthesiologist and a wife. She doesn’t have a lot of time to fuss with beauty, so her look is pretty simple. I’m very conscious of how I wear my hair on the show, and yet it’s the way I wear my hair as Tracee. You hire me, you hire my hair and you hire my ass. It’s all coming with me.

Photo Credit: Helga Esteb /

Kimberly Foster is the Founder and Editor of COLOURES. Email or
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