Promoting unrealistic beauty standards has been a notoriously heated topic in Hollywood, especially with digitally altered photos creating impossibly perfect images for young girls to emulate. But even celebrities aren’t immune to this kind of pressure, and Black-ish actress Tracee Ellis Ross has recently become one of the most outspoken on the issue of body image.
Last year, Ross did an interview with 105.1’s the Breakfast Club, speaking out about society’s narrow standards of beauty and how they’ve set women up to be objectified and put off by their own natural beauty. According to Ross, “Women have been manipulating their hair, their asses, their breasts, their lips — and all of this for some standard of beauty that is not natural, as if we are these airbrushed creatures that are objects for desire. And that is not what women are.”
Strangely enough, the video has recently resurfaced, and this time around, it has stirred up a bit of controversy among fans. While she had intended for her words to inspire people to accept their natural beauty, some took it as an offense to those who choose to change their appearance. It led Ross to release a new video, above, on her Facebook page on Tuesday, in which she clarifies her words.
“I am an advocate for women having the freedom to choose,” she says in it. “I don’t like the idea that women might be shamed into making choices, or feel shame for the choices they make.” The post already has more than 370,000 views and more than 12,400 reactions, including grateful comments such as “kudos to you for being a catalyst for these types of conversations,” and “I’m tearing up because you have just helped me realize I don’t want to augment my body with surgery. … Thanks so much from the depths of my soul. … I’ve struggled with this for years.”
After addressing her previous interview, Ross went on to express her desire for women to work on finding their inner beauty, rather than putting so much time and effort into their physical appearance. “I wonder what it would be if each of us expanded our idea and our definition of what beauty is,” she says. “Like where would each of us find it? I think that the hope and the goal is that each of us finds it within. That’s what I wish for everybody.”