An interview with Tracee Ellis Ross and The Breakfast Club has been making the social-media rounds lately. In the snippet, the Black-ish star eloquently breaks down the effed-up (and unrealistic) beauty standards women are pressured to conform to regularly. Though the video is from 2014, it's a powerful message that holds just as much truth today as it did two years ago.
Ross recently continued the conversation in a follow-up Facebook video. She dives deeper into similar beauty issues and makes sure to note that she's not passing judgment of any kind on women and what they choose to do with their appearance. "I don’t like the idea that women might be shamed into making choices, or feel shame for the choices that they make," she says in the above video. "I’m making a comment on our culture. A culture of beauty that narrowly defines beauty and perpetuates this idea that women are only objects and worthy of love if we somehow match up to this ever-changing, always unattainable, like, arbitrary standard of beauty.”
She goes on to add that if you choose to manipulate your looks because it empowers you, then you do you, girl. But, if you're making changes because you feel like you have to, and what you were born with isn't good enough, then, she says, "our culture has failed you." She drills down on this important point: "We must shift our culture from viewing women as objects so that we are empowered to make choices not based on how other people see us, but instead how we feel," she says. "I wonder what it would be [like] if each of us expanded our idea and our definition of what beauty is... The hope and the goal is that each of us find it within. That’s what I wish for everybody. That’s what I want for myself.”
Where do we start? How do we make this happen? Conversation, Ross says. From men and women. "Let's talk about it," she concludes. Yes, let's — we'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.