Tracee Ellis Ross Explains Importance of Natural Hair on Network TV

Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross Explains Importance of Natural Hair on Network TV

"You hire me, you hire my hair and you hire my a**," she says.

Published December 10, 2014

Tracee Ellis Ross has been giving us curl envy for years and it’s great to see that she’s no longer the only television actress we can turn to for natural hair inspiration.

In a beach getaway scene this season, Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope skipped her usual blowouts on Scandal. Viola Davis’s character on How to Get Away With Murder removed her wig on camera and the actress has talked about her own struggles with her natural hair after battling alopecia. And Ross continues to rock her luscious curls in her latest sitcom, Black-ish. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actress talked about the importance of having natural hair on network television and why it’s such a part of who she is.

“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,” Ross said. “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.’”

Ross grew up with a very solid sense of who she was and how to embrace her beauty — and “big hair” — thanks to her mother, Diana Ross.

“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,” she continued.

Ross is thrilled to show off her natural hair on the ABC show, saying that it’s not only a part of her character’s reality, but hers as well.

“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 a**. It’s all coming with me.”

To read the entire interview, click here.

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(Photo: AP Photo/ABC, Adam Taylor)

Written by Dorkys Ramos


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