"I think, the reason why as I've gotten older, it hasn't felt like a daunting thing, but actually, a very exciting and fun thing to sort of explore what this experience of beauty is," Ross said.
Tracee Ellis Ross was once asked what wellness meant to her and she replied, "At 18, I woke up like this. At 46, I care for it", as per the New York Times. Now, four years later, in an interview on TODAY, the Emmy nominee opened up about the joys that come with turning 50, a milestone she reached back in October. Comparing her enthusiasm to Molly Shannon's Saturday Night Live "Sally O'Malley" where the comedian exclaims, "I'm 50 years old and I like to kick!", Ross said she's stepping into her confidence.
"I think I'm the sexiest I've ever been. I feel fantastic and I feel like the world is my oyster," she shared. Ross also recalled her 16-year television run, which includes the 2000s sitcom Girlfriends and ABC comedy Black-ish, as she revealed that she's "closing the chapter" and is ready to live her own storyline. The actress added that she still has a bucket list filled with things she wants to accomplish and see in her next stage, such as starring in an action film, writing a book, and finding a lifelong partner. As far as a life partner is concerned, Ross said, "Listen! He's gonna come, he's not gonna come — in the meantime, I'm gonna live my life and have a ball!"
Among many hats that Ross dons, one is of a beauty entrepreneur. She recently launched three new additions to her curly hair care brand Pattern Beauty — The Blow Dryer, the line's first-ever heat tool, and its complementary Heat Protectant spray and Shine Spray mist. In speaking to PEOPLE about the new drops, Ross shared that the whole philosophy behind her brand and its products is about self-expression, which is an outlook she picked up from her mom and fashion icon Diana Ross.
"That was the way I saw beauty used growing up when I watched my mother [Diana Ross]. It was a way that she transformed herself into a different version of herself that was more about 'this is me' than 'look at me.' And so I have always felt that beauty was an expression of your internal self," Ross said.
Ross has also worked on a six-part docu-series, The Hair Tales, which celebrates the varied hair experiences of black women. Every episode features a celebrity guest star where they discuss their personal hair journey and black hair culture with the High Note actress. Calling the show "a love letter to black women" Ross said, "my beauty is inextricably tied to my hair," per PEOPLE. She further explained, "I heard in a podcast, a poet Natachi Mez said, 'Like hair, we be conditioned.' And it really moved me because I'm hoping that The Hair Tales is part of the reconditioning of how we have been taught to think of our hair, how we have been taught to think of our beauty."
Ross is inspired by activist Alok V. Menon's definition of beauty, which Ross recalled is "the imprint of the soul," the Pattern founder and CEO shaped her own. She told PEOPLE, "So I believe beauty is about a holistic experience and self-care and that's what I've brought into Pattern because I feel that hair care is self-care. It's one of the ways we actively love ourselves." She further explained, "It really is about a form of self-expression and embracing who you are and your legacy. And so that's what I feel about beauty and that's, I think, the reason why as I've gotten older, it hasn't felt like a daunting thing, but actually, a very exciting and fun thing to sort of explore what this experience of beauty is."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Leon Bennett