-Tracee Ellis Ross speaks to " Essence" on her career and new hair care line.
- Tracee on this being her fourth cover. Ross " I remember the first time I was on "Essence" , I was on with my mom . I thought , okay, dreams are real , and they can happen. Still, as Diana Ross's child, you wonder whether you will become anything in your own right. So it was a really big moment from being on the cover with my mom to having my own cover. Now I've had three on my own and one with my mom. I feel a little humbled by that, knowing I truly filled my own shoes- and maybe even had to buy a couple of new pairs at times. There are people who have no idea my worth is not based on my mom or what I look like. There's a wholeness to me I cherish".
- Ross on if she ever wanted to give up acting. Ross" There were moments of that. I really thought when " Girlfriends" finished that the pearly Gates of Hollywood were going to open , and they were going to be like," What movie would you like, ma'am? Please , choose whatever. That did not happen. It forced my soul to continue to search for what it longed for, dreamed of, wanted to be. It allowed me to continue to grow as a person and realize I was deserving and worthy. I could own my success, but also own what might look like failure. I could literally be my own best friend and mirror, knowing that my worth is not tangled up in what I think I should be getting".
- Ross on her new hair care line Pattern. Ross" Ten years ago, when "Girlfriends" ended , I wrote a pitch for a line of hair care products. It has been 30 years in the trenches of my hair. Twenty years of dreaming. Ten years of trying, strategizing and asking. Five years of continuing to learn. Four years with chemists, and 74 samples later , were here. I am launching a haircare line for curly ,coily and tight, textured hair to empower people and meet the unmet needs of our community at a price point we can afford, because we know we need a lot of product in all this hair". It's called "Pattern" because it is about the magical patterns of our hair. The product line includes four different conditioners, two nourishing oil serums and a few key accessories.
- Ross on her on hair journey. Ross" It dates back to high school, when I would wake up, and before I would put on my glasses, I would call to check the weather. If it was anything over 67 percent humidity, I would not was my hair. I stopped relaxing my hair the summer before tenth grade. I ran track, and found that putting heat on my hair was too difficult. But I couldn't figure out how to wear it. I tried every product under the sun. Then, about 20 years ago, I went into a salon and a guy was like," Oh My God" Do you know how many people come in here with a magazine picture of your hair and tell me that's what they want? I tell them I'm going to have to sew it in." And I was like, "No,no,no. It's not about sewing it in- it's about having the right products." We have to have the right products to nourish, hydrate, moisturize and soothe our hair. With the right products and tools our hair can do anything. That's when I stated to think about the idea of creating my own product line.
- On when she learned black was beautiful. Ross" It took me longer than I wish it had. I'd catch glimpses of people who saw beauty in ways I had missed because of the blinders society gave me. Then one day I was watching a Nina Simone documentary and I thought: Wait. It should be her name next to the word "beauty". Why was I sold this wrong vision? My heart knows that's beauty".