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Tracee Ellis Ross Tells Elle Magazine: “Black Girls Have Been Magic Forever”

Tracee Ellis Ross Tells Elle Magazine: “Black Girls Have Been Magic Forever”


For the inaugural issue of The State of Black Beauty, Elle Magazine features actress Tracee Ellis Ross for its cover story, which tackles all things black beauty—from the lens of her haircare company, Pattern. Tracy Ellis Ross hairstyle.

The State of Black Beauty was created by black girl coalition Nerisha Penrose, Angel Lenise, and Chloe Hall and is focused on celebrating all forms of black beauty. It’s literally created for black people by black people. The cover was directed by Tracee herself and featured an all-black creative cast. Tracee Ellis Ross hairstyle.

Wearing Aisling Camps

Her outfits were by black fashion brands like Mateo, Hanifa, Aisling Camps, Area, Beads Byaree, Araks, and Molly GoddardTracy Ellis Ross hairstyle.

Wearing Hanifa

Tracee, speaking to fellow actress Kerry Washington traded stories on what it is like being black in the entertainment industry, as a celebrity, and also as a black woman. It is worthy to note that both women could easily relate to each other’s story not only as friends but as Black American women working in the same industry.  

Here are 3 things Tracee shared about her beauty journey…

#1. On her Inspiration for ‘Pattern’

“Our beauty was not a part of the standard or culture of beauty. There was no real frame to hold.”


She was once told at a beauty supply store that women came in with magazine cut-outs of her trying to shop for products that gave them hair like hers. This was a real moment for Tracy because she had realized that there wasn’t enough representation in the media for black hair. It was as though black hair wasn’t beautiful. So she started Pattern to change that narrative. Tracy Ellis Ross.

#2. On Black Girl Magic

“I realize that Black girls have been magic forever, but once we got this term, the world was able to see that magic in a way it wasn’t being received before.”

Wearing Area and Mateo

She recalls being at a musical festival and being told to straighten her hair because she was “on TV.” For the longest time, straight hair has been society’s image of ‘put together, and so Tracee decided to change this image. For her, bringing forward the conversation about black beauty did not invent black beauty––it has always existed, and she wants everyone to know that. And indeed, there are more black women now embracing their natural hair as it grows from their heads.

#3. Black hair and black beauty is not a new phenomenon

“Braids are not new. Cornrows are not new. Twists are not new. Bantu knots are not new. If our hair could talk, it would tell you of our legacy. Black beauty is timeless and holds such a story that I am so grateful to be a part of, and to continue allowing it to unfold through me.”

Wearing Molly Goddard and Araks Tracy Ellis Ross.

African hairstyles have existed for ages. According to Tracee, truly understanding the importance of celebrating blackness in every form “allows us to connect with each other in such sacred ways.” Tracee’s biggest goal is to create a culture of wellness where black women connect first with themselves and their strengths and then with one another.


Read the full story on Elle.

Photo credit: Elle Magazine | Djeneba Aduayom Tracee Ellis Ross hairstyle.

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