Tracee Ellis Ross had a “contentious relationship” with the culture of beauty growing up.
The “Black-ish” star — who is the daughter of legendary singer Diana Ross — admits she has had quite an up and down relationship with beauty and its standards as she struggled to find someone who looked like her outside her family.
She told Glamour magazine: “I went through those teenage years when everybody is searching to figure out who they are and all of a sudden become so aware of how they look, how they are seen, what’s cool, what’s in. Sadly, there were not a ton of images, outside of my family, of people who looked like me.
“[I had a] contentious relationship with the culture of beauty that was around me, but didn’t make space for me. As a result, I tried to beat my hair into submission to do what I thought it should do. I straightened it, I dyed it, I fried it.”
The 46-year-old singer and actress has just launched her Pattern Beauty haircare line, which is geared towards people specifically with 3B to 4C hair types, but she admits she has been heavily criticized for not having a “professional” on board.
She added: “[The journey] has been fraught with many disappointments, me running up against many of the things that were exactly what made me feel bad about myself. People saying to me: ‘You don’t have the credibility to do this, you need to partner with a professional,’ and me attempting to explain that I, like many women of color and people with curly hair, have become our best experts because the industry has not supported us.”