Actress Tracee Ellis Ross has thanked her mother Diana Ross for scaring her into a successful career with dire haircare advice.
The Black-ish star never felt out of touch with the rest of the world while growing up as the child of a soul legend because her superstar mum would teach her all about the value of money by threatening to stop funding her love of beauty products.
“I have always been attempting to make friends with my hair, and I went through this phase where I tried every hair product in the world,” Tracee tells Glamour magazine. “My mum said to me, ‘Listen to me: You either need to get yourself an incredibly good job, or’ – and by the way, this is generational, but she did put job first – ‘or a very wealthy husband to pay for your hair products alone, because they are going to break the bank. Call it quits on the hair products. I can’t deal with it.'”
Before becoming an actress, Tracee was a model and professional stylist, and she also has her mother to thank for helping establish her fashion career.
“My mum was in my first meeting with Wilhelmina, the modeling agency,” she smiled. “She set it up. I did the Thierry Mugler fashion show because of her. Thierry Mugler had asked her to do it, and she said the only way I’ll do it is if you let my daughter walk too.
“So my mum never dissuaded it (creative career); although I will say, she was very big on saying things like, ‘You sure you don’t want to be a doctor?’
“Her sister is a world-renowned doctor, Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee, the first black female dean of a medical school. So we had all of those options open to us. But what I saw in my mother was a woman with a platform… I walked toward that.”