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Tracee Ellis Ross Talks About Hair Discrimination and the Trauma Most Black Women Go Through In Society In New Docuseries

Tracee Ellis Ross is taking a stand for individuals who have faced trauma and discrimination against their hair.

The 49-year-old recently said during an interview with InStyle magazine that forcing an individual to limit their hairstyle because it doesn’t meet societal standards should be considered a civil rights issue. Ross also addressed this topic in a six-part Hulu docuseries she produced and narrated, “The Hair Tales.”

Tracee Ellis Ross opens up about the discrimination and trauma Black women endured regarding their natural hair. (Photo: @traceeellisross/Instagram)

On Oct. 24, Ross told the publication that she addressed this subject in the show because many people didn’t understand that it is discriminatory to stop or limit someone from expressing who they are through their hair. 

While mentioning The Crown Act, Ross said, “When you look at the CROWN Act, people don’t understand that it’s a civil rights issue and that in the discrimination against hair, you are actually limiting an identity and a humanity from being able to live freely.”

She continued, “‘The Hair Tales’ really is a space and a place where we are hoping that we can give context to an experience and an identity that is so often decontextualized and is often told through the lens of struggle and hardship, and instead look at it through the lens of joy and celebration.”

Further in the conversation, Ross acknowledged that hair discrimination and beauty standards could cause trauma to those within the natural hair community.

She said while mentioning the celebrities’ stories that were told on “The Hair Tales,” “I don’t think hair trauma was a through line. I think it is a part of the story.The hair tales that were shared were examples of what happens when you come into contact with the world’s version of you versus your own identity and experience of yourself.”

Ross added, “And it can be traumatic, yes, but there is trauma in the forming of identity in all spaces. I think the through line of the show, what the show centers around, is actually joy.”

In the past, Ross revealed that she developed a relationship with her natural hair at a very early age. The “Girlfriends” star admitted that her example came after seeing her mother, legendary singer and actress, Diana Ross’ maintain her hair with minimal assistance in the entertainment industry. 

She said in 2012, “My mom does all her own hair and makeup, and always has. There are people who have supported her in the process, but for the stage I have always sat as a little girl and watched my mom do her makeup. Eyelashes, the whole deal — she does it herself.” 

Ross revealed that she ultimately inherited her mother’s ability to style herself. 

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