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You know how every year for your birthday, you may gather up your friends and family and celebrate life? Well, Tracee Ellis Ross approaches birthday parties differently, and honestly, we may take some notes. Apparently for her 40th birthday celebration a few years ago, Ross 1). rented out a movie theater, 2). gathered up all her friends, and 3). undressed down to her bra and underwear. And it doesn’t end there — she proceeded on to point out the bodily features she disliked about herself.

Okay, now it may sound crazy to read that, especially considering Tracee’s body is #goals for so many of us. But on Monday night, she explained at an event that she, “felt like I needed to embrace those parts, and love those parts of me because they were all a part of me and they were beautiful and I have a lot of pride in it.”

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Ross teaches us that it is perfectly okay not to be fully in love with every piece of our bodies, but that doesn’t mean that they are ugly or bad. “Let’s talk about certain things that are confusing at this age,” she said jokingly to the crowd. “My underarms and the skin around my knees. These are the only complaints I have and they’re not complaints but it’s different, the skin is very different.” Viewing things as different instead of bad lessens the type of complaints you extend to yourself, and yes, it ultimately makes you feel a lot better. Things like how your body is shifting and moving are NATURAL — beating yourself up about it just wastes time you could be spending loving and enjoying it.

Tracee Ellis Ross For JCPenney

Source: JCPenney / Courtesy of JCPenney

I think the most encouraging part of Tracee’s candid honesty is that now, at 45, she feels sexy and beautiful. Honestly, that’s such an encouraging thing to hear for countless women who think beauty is fleeting after 30 or 40 or even 50. Thinking of her ‘ideal’ women characters from TV shows- like Wonder Woman, The Carol Burnett Show and Charlie’s Angels- Ross realized that she, too, could grow up just like them. “When I thought about it and I put all of those women together, I thought of course I grew up to become a bold woman who thinks I have the power to leap buildings, spin in something gorgeous, and save people, and to be funny and glamorous and empowered in my skin and be in all of my glory because those are the images that I actually saw growing up,” she said.

She ended with a note I hope everyone takes away, a note that age is truly nothing but a number, and that you can feel empowered and beautiful at any time. “I don’t say I look my most beautiful,” Ross noted. “I FEEL my most beautiful and that’s what’s really important to me and I talk a lot about it.” Amen!


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Even Tracee Ellis Ross Didn’t Love Her Body At One Point  was originally published on