Tracee Ellis Ross: ‘you do not get to touch or comment on my body as you please’
Tracee Ellis Ross has a new cover story and interview with Glamour magazine, and I found myself just nodding along as I read it. I love to read her takes on life, on being single and successful and getting shade for it, and on important issues. She’s just smart and thoughtful and I enjoy her interviews. So this one wasn’t any different and I came away wanting to hear more. I especially liked how she broke down the issue of consent and unwanted touching and made it incredibly simple and matter-of-fact. So many people try to complicate it and create hierarchies of abusive behavior, as if victims should be ranked. Tracee makes it very clear that we alone own our bodies and that it’s about consent.
On being the first black actress in over 30 years to win a Globe in comedy
When another woman or another woman of color has a win, I feel like it’s my win. I feel like it’s a ceiling breaking open. And so the nominations, even the win, really feels like it’s not mine. It’s like something becomes more possible.
On how she was raised to think about her sexuality
My mom [Diana Ross] is a sexy woman—that is part of her persona—and that is a delicious thing that has never felt scary to me. Recently I learned this wonderful term, sex-positive, and that is the way I feel. [For me] the answer to the objectification of women and black women in our culture is not to shut down my sexuality but to own it as something that is mine.
Glamour: One response to #MeToo that’s bugged me is men saying: Can you even compliment a woman anymore? Can you hug a female colleague anymore? What would you say to those guys?
[This] is connected wholeheartedly to consent. It can be as simple as asking, May I hug you? I ask my therapist that before I leave the office—I say, “May I hug you?” Ask the question: “Is it OK for me to hug you? Is it OK for me to ask that?” That’s all you have to do. And then, if somebody is even offended by the question, then the response is “I’m so sorry, I didn’t know.” End of story.
It is so simple. Of course people want to be complimented, but you want to be complimented in a way that respects who you are—maybe you don’t want to be complimented on your clothing. You have that right to say to your coworker, “That’s not a thing that I enjoy.” “Oh, no problem. I won’t do that anymore.” It is all about respect and giving people a choice about how we are touching and talking about their body. Historically, women have not had ownership of our own bodies. And it is enough. It is enough. You do not get to touch my body or comment on my body as you please. Period.
“You do not get to touch my body or comment on my body as you please.” Yes this exactly. There is a dude I know who just expects me accept his squeezing hugs every time I run into him and I end up feeling gross afterwards, as if there was no other choice. I recently unfriended him on facebook and his reaction to that – needling, questioning and then ultimately being angry at me when I ignored all his messages – told me all I needed to know about whether he would understand me refusing his hug (or calling him out for the sexist crap he says on Facebook). I will be more direct the next time I see him but I doubt there will be any more hugs from him anyway.
The Cut also reports that she wore sneakers with every outfit in this photoshoot. I have a pair of white classic Reeboks I got on eBay to wear for a Halloween costume (80s workout zombie) and they became my go-to shoes for just about every outfit. It’s like walking on clouds they’re so comfortable and they’re neutral and look cute with jeans, casual dresses, and just about any outfit. I really like the trend of pairing sneakers with dressier outfits because it’s more convenient than choosing shoes that need to match and be both stylish and comfortable. It’s rare for a heel to accomplish all that, but sneakers almost always fit the bill.
Click through the Instagram slideshow to see more photos from Tracee’s shoot.
GLAMOUR COVER 🤸🏽♀️😊 ~ @glamourmag february 2018 photographer: @patrickdemarchelier fashion director: @jilliandavison hair: @chuckielovehair makeup: @romyglow issue on stands now! #TeamID
Photos credit: Glamour, Backgrid and Wenn