“She doesn’t need to prove who she is because she knows who she is. She knows the space she holds. She doesn’t have issue with and question her blackness. She doesn’t have issue with or question the importance of her role. There’s a sense of joy and ease about her.”
~Tracee Ellis Ross, on her Blackish character, Dr. Rainbow Johnson
When everybody’s favorite girlfriend, Tracee Ellis Ross, talks about the character that is now her bread-and-butter, she might as well be one of her own 4 million Instagram followers gushing about their favorite star. No wonder her middle name, at birth, was Joy.
When she opens ABC’s 43rd American Music Awards as its host on Sunday, it will be the latest feather in her ridonkulous (her word!) 2017 cap. She began with a historic Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy in January. She sent Black-ish fans into a frenzy with her performance on its Hamiltonesque October premiere. When JC Penney launched her 45-piece collection of clothing and accessories in early November, it sold out almost instantly. And, in spite of ALL THAT, last week a video of her TED-Talk-like speech about the limitations others constantly attempt to impose on her success emerged.
Fully owning her age (45), status (single), and procreation choice (childless), she called out the patriarchy and the matriarchy for pitying her, for actually taking in her beauty, her passions, her advocacy, work-ethic, self-determination and glee and somehow responding with, “You poor thing.”
Admitting that she “grew up planning a wedding” (with two outfits, thank you, including a corseted lace gown and wide-legged white pantsuit—can’t you just see her upcoming JC Penney wedding collection?) and imagining a son (named Loren, no less), she also made it clear that she is deeply satisfied and proud of her life. In other words, she is Nobody’s. Poor. Thing.
In fact, she is Hollywood royalty, and when she takes the stage at the Microsoft Theater as the AMA’s host, she will also participate in honoring her adored mega-star mom, Diana The-Original-Boss Ross. Mama Ross, 73, will perform and receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.
While the press has been gushing with anticipation over that moment, little has been made of the fact that this will be the first time in AMA history that a daughter hosts a show once also hosted by her mom. Talk about multigenerational #BlackGirlMagic! Patriarchy and misguided pitiers: Enjoy the show!