Tracee Ellis Ross Talks Dealing With Her ‘Body’s Ability To Make A Child Draining’ Following Her 50th Birthday

Tracee Ellis Ross is an exceptional talent in Hollywood with nine NAACP Image Awards, a Golden Globe, six Emmy nominations, and the fanbase to prove it. But when she’s not on our screens, Tracee is an executive-producing, documentary-making, and podcast-launching machine. And then, there’s her thriving presence in the beauty market with the launch of her haircare brand Pattern.

She’s 50, already legendary, and living a life that doesn’t yet include marriage or motherhood. In 2021, she revealed interest in the ‘white picket fence, husband and kids’ dreams, but also told Marie Claire magazine she refuses to “sit around waiting” for those dreams to come through.

Less than two years later, Ellis has opened up about being perimenopausal. Tracee shared words from a Jan. journal entry on the podcast We Can Do Hard Things, released on Jan. 10.

Here’s what the journal entry said:

“I can feel my body’s ability to make a child draining out of me. Sometimes I find it hilarious as if there is a fire sale going on in my uterus, and someone’s in there screaming: all things must go.”

The entry continued:

“As my body becomes a foreign place to me that doesn’t really feel safe or like home…I don’t know how to manage or control or fight the external binary narrative of the patriarchy that has hunted me and haunted me most of my adult life. Is it my fertility that’s leaving me? Is it my womanhood? Or is it really neither?”

Tracee Ellis Ross Got Deep About How She Takes Care Of Her Mind

Before Ross got to that point of the interview, she explained the larger picture of her life. She detailed the tools and techniques she’s used to physically and mentally pick herself up and get out of her mind’s narratives. Narratives, including those that lack “compassion…tenderness…kindness.”

“If I can’t take the information in…like there’s times when it’s not the time for me to look back. And I can wait until I can actually look back constructively and not in a way that’s going ot create another wound and more wounds. And I’m learning as I got older how to be deliberate about my aftercare.

In the interview, Tracee spoke about friendships and the privilege of choosing her family. She also explained how she’s broken out of the pre-set standards for women to find value in “being chosen.” 

“I’ve been single for a very long time. I have had many wonderful ins and outs of things, but no one stuck to the pan. As a result, I get to curate my family, my chosen family around me. And I don’t think I realized the gift of that until I’ve started to get older.”

Tracee says she’s figuring out what approaching menopause means to her while disagreeing that being fertile is only about pregnancy and childbirth.

Moments before reading the excerpt of her journal entry, Tracee said:

“I am a wonderful mother, and I’m very mothering, and it’s been hard for me to claim that in a world where I don’t have the thing that says…”

Listen to the full podcast here:

Cassandra S

I like to tell stories, pretend I'm funny and experience everything so I can tell more stories. I love the truth and I'm great at verifying it.