Tracee Ellis Ross Loves Her Boobs and So Do I

by Evette Dionne

Last week, Tracee Ellis Ross, known to most of us as Joan Clayton from Girlfriends, launched a website dedicated to uplifting and educating other women. Like most fashionistas that admire Tracee’s eclectic panache, I was excited about TraceeEllisRoss.com. Since the unveiling, I have not been disappointed. The fashion icon is tackling a host of topics, from natural hair products to voting with the natural elegance and quirkiness that attracted us to her in the beginning.

One of the most poignant aspects of her site is the reflective blog posts that grant us access to some of her deepest thoughts about life, culture and even Marina Abramović. Tracee flaunted her word skills in a piece that analyzed how the acceptance of fake knockers has completely warped societal perception of breasts. In “A Culture Confused by Fake Boobs,” the spawn of Diana perused the taboo topic of boob acceptance in the age of photoshopped perfection.

Tracee writes that:

“Bras and our ever evolving breasts are a topic I often hear discussed by women. Just the other day at the gym, a woman asked me if she should get a lift because –as she put it –she was pushing 40 and after two kids, she just wanted to feel sexy again.  Though her husband was against it, she was still clearly struggling with the decision (after all, she was asking the opinion of a complete stranger). I think that the new norm of fake boobs has confused us all. We have forgotten what real boobs look like.”

Ross then proceeds to recount personal experiences where her breasts were used to determine her worth as an actress and woman.

“I have, on numerous occasions, been confronted by other people’s discomfort with my breasts (and not just online). I had a horrid audition experience where the casting director actually made someone in her office take off their own push-up bra for me to wear because she did not like where my breasts were sitting. Apparently, the whereabouts of my breasts were key to my acting skills!

I’ve had long conversations with my manager about my breasts or, as she calls them, “the girls.” I’ve had to defend their placement, as she suggested I should wear a “better bra,” alluding to the fact that others have made comments about my breasts to her. These experiences gave me pause: I felt hurt, reduced to an object, a pair of tits — tits that were, apparently, un-cast-able.”

Despite her discomfort, Ross has refused to visit the plastic surgeon and continues to pose braless in Instagram photos. It appears that she has shielded herself from the pressures of Tinseltown and is encouraging other women to celebrate their imperfect knockers.

It’s about damn time.

I was eight-years-old when I skipped the training bras phase in favor of a B cup bra with underwire. I was on the C cup radar by 11 before settling into a double D at 16.  Asthmatic steroids robbed me of the chance to desire breasts because I can never remember a time when I didn’t have them. Since I was bustier than other kids, growing up was a pain – literally and figuratively.

I was an outlier in a neighborhood of prepubescent teens. The taunting was relentless. Immature boys thought that boobies on a thin nine-year-old frame was cause for harassment. I had few girlfriends. Because their crushes chased after me all recess – hoping for an inappropriate grope – I was the enemy. There was even a song that followed me from the blacktop to the classroom. “Here comes Evette with the big C-cups.” I was humiliated. I cried. Nobody understood how difficult it was to be nine-years-old with breasts and a menstrual cycle. I was alone.

To combat this isolation, I developed a plan. I knew that when I was older and living off of more than a $5 allowance, I would head to the nearest plastic surgeon for a breast reduction. Yep, that was the plan. My resentment for my breasts deepened as I watched women traipsing through the mall braless while I was confined to a medieval torture contraption with double straps that left welts on my shoulder.

Embracing my bust was a slow process. I can’t even recall the exact moment when I decided that my breasts were meant to be loved and cherished instead of despised. It might have been one of the hundreds of times that I stood naked in the front of the mirror, critiquing flaws … or maybe not. All I know is that there was no Mo’Nique Phat Girlz moment when I karate-chopped mannequins and cussed at weight-loss infomercials. It was a rather peaceful transition from total disregard and disgust to unconditional admiration.

Now, like Tracee, I encourage other women to love themselves from root to the toot. We don’t have to spend countless dollars on push-up bras or pressure ourselves to achieve the Pamela Anderson ideal. Our knockers are special and deserve to be treasured. Tracee sums it best:

“I believe our bodies are sacred and wise and beautiful. I’m drawn to anything “natural,” and so, I love boobs of all shapes and sizes: big, small, sloppy, raisins, tits, milk-duds, fake, real, flat, bra or no bra. I call my breasts “boobs,” but if I was looking at my breasts from the outside I would probably refer to them as tits. I think my tits are quite pretty and I like where God placed them.”

So do I.

  • Mademoiselle

    I applaud where Tracee and this author are going with this, but at the same time (devil’s advocate rearing her head), I think the reason it’s so easy to make a woman feel insecure about any part of her body is because we keep placing SO MUCH value on body parts, when, in reality, they shouldn’t command so much thought.

    Not saying that people shouldn’t be enamored with themselves, but people/society will always hone in on the things we attach such visceral emotions (love/hate) to.

    Take any one thing people profess to “love” and start a campaign against it, and you know what happens? Doubt, insecurity, defensiveness, etc. Take any one thing people display obvious discomfort with and start a campaign for greater acceptance, and you know what happens? Fear, insecurity, yo-yoing between love/hate, etc. And we’re doing this to body parts.

    I believe the sooner we stop attaching emotions to body parts, the sooner we’ll stop tormenting and being tormented about them.

    Breasts are just breasts. We’re in the middle of breast cancer awareness month, where we acknowledge that many people will lose theirs to cancer. With or without them, we should still love ourselves and value one another. “Loving” breasts only makes it easier (in my opinion) to be made insecure about them. “Hating” them (in my opinion) is a sign that they’ve been given too much importance. My body is just my body. I don’t love or hate it. I take care of it so that I can live a long and enjoyable life without it getting in the way, but beyond that, there’s not much that can be said about it that will get me hot under the collar.

  • Anthony

    I think it is telling that Ross mentions a woman who wanted breast despite her husband being against it. It reminds me of men who feel inadequate because they don’t have porn star size penises when the women who love them accept what they have.

    I still say love yourself and others will love you too.

  • Ms. Information

    She needs to be in a really good romantic comedy..

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    “I think that the new norm of fake boobs has confused us all. We have forgotten what real boobs look like” i have been saying this since i realized it a few years ago!

    i used to be so upset at my breasts being “saggy” then i realize that breasts look like that when a bra is off. i realized that every woman who showed her breast in a movie or were in a strapless bra with their breasts still up had FAKE BREASTS!

    it’s sad how so many women haven’t gotten the wakeup call cause every woman i know wants fake breasts. then we have men who watch nothing but porn,strip clubs and magazines like maxim and playboy full of fake breasted women and men are going around calling normal natural breasts “saggy” and ugly because they are so used to seeing fake ones everywhere. so so sad!

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    btw so many women like to include “nothing against fake breasts” or “i’m not against plastic surgery” what’s wrong with thinking it looks stupid and unnatural? it DOES! it says a lot about these women that are willing to go out and get it. obviously it’s their choice and their body there really isn’t a need to keep repeating that but there is no denying that the ish is ugly. not just talking about how they look, but the women’s thinking very very ugly indeed when women consider getting them.

    wish more women were like tracee ellis ross and loving themselves the way they are instead of constantly encouraging other women to get things that are perfectly fine “fixed” smh

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    This! I was just on another site and a whole bunch of women was going in on Kate Upton’s breasts by saying they were “large and grossed” and looks “saggy” and I was floored or she needa to get her boobs reduced or lifted to look pretty. Personally I think she has a nice rack…lol because it’s natural but people are so use to fake breasts or breasts looking a certain way in the media that “normal” breasts seems strange to them. But the kicker is that if other suspect you had a boob job they are the first ones to go in or say I prefer natural breasts…smh

  • Fa

    I really relate to this article. I also developed early, and have always had large breasts. I hated them and wanted a reduction until the exact moment that I was properly fitted for a bra almost 3 years ago. I can’t even describe the feeling that this level of comfort gave me! Once I came to terms with my real size (34GG), I knew I could live with them.

  • http://ladyngo.blogspot.com Lady Ngo

    I agree with you. People have become so accustomed to the fake that they’re disgusted by whats God given/natural.

  • Pseudonym

    yES! I’ve admired women’s bodies on television to later find out they’re fake. Between the noses, the breasts and butts, the hair, and now even the girl that works the cash register at McDonald’s sports a full set of fake lashes everyday…it’s a mess.

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    oh lord jesus i can’t stand those chicks that wear fake eyelashes everyday and look like snuffy from sesame street! especially when they have on fake lashes and absolutely no makeup.

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