Tracee Ellis Ross Says She's Happy to be '45, Single and Childless'

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Tracee Ellis Ross is loving the single life!

The 45-year-old Black-ish actress covers InStyle's November issue -- due out Oct. 12 -- and dishes on her life, how she decompresses and growing up with a famous mom.

"It’s sort of fascinating to be 45 and single and childless,” she tells the magazine. “Happily single, I should add. Not at home crying about it."

Though she thinks "these are very big and very personal questions that aren’t anyone’s business but that somehow, like the right to choose, become fodder for public conversation," Ross feels a need to sort of defend herself and her choices. 

"Some of the ability to reflect on what I really want comes from pushing up against a society that shames me for not having the expected trappings," she says. "I’m very pleased with my existence these days. Have I had to learn to make friends with loneliness? Yes. I think if I were in a relationship, it would be the same.”

Ross practices what she calls "choiceful solitude," something she fully embraces.

“To get me out of the house is not so easy,” she says. “I lose my social ability after 9 o’clock. My friends joke about it: You could be on a dance floor with me and we are [dancing] and you turn around and I’m gone.”

Despite her homebody tendencies, Ross' non-stop career still makes it a necessity for her to practice real self-care.

“The ‘I woke up like this’ thing? Bullsh*t! Black-ish is in HD, darling! There’s no Vaseline on the lenses. At 18 I might have woken up like this. At 45 I f*cking work for it," she says. "I love potato chips more than anything in the world, and so I work out hard. I put masks on my face. I take care of myself. And, by the way, to me self-care does not mean going to the spa. It’s learning to say no. It’s knowing yourself so you can make choices that are an expression of you. That’s self-care.”

Tracee Ellis Ross

InStyle's November issue is on sale Oct. 12

Horst Diekgerdes

The self-care regimen has become more important for Ross in recent years as an outspoken advocate of the Time's Up and #MeToo movements. With all the on-going turbulence in the country, Ross had made it a point to look for the positives in every situation.

"If the U.S.A. were in a 12- step program, it would need a really big moral inventory," she says. "But one of the things that’s been special about this time is that there’s a space for one’s own unique experience in a way that there wasn’t always. The life promised by fairy tales and movies is not relevant in the same way -- the white picket fence, blah, blah, blah -- and there are more people telling stories that have different colors and flavors to them."

"When you can look at a story that is not in any way your story but see all the ways you identify, that’s art doing its job,” Ross adds.

With her important voice, constant humor and remarkable fashion sense, it's no wonder Ross came from someone as dynamic and special as her famous mother, Diana Ross. 

“As a kid I saw my mom as the lady in the sparkly dress on the stage who sang, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found the language to articulate that what I was seeing was a woman in her full glory being in connection with this gift she was given," Ross says. "Being glamorous and sexy but not in a way that’s ‘Look at me.’ We live in a ‘Look at me’ culture. I was raised to view sexy as being at the height of your ... self."

Ross certainly has a track record of being true to herself! When ET spoke to her at the Golden Globes back in January, she addressed her choice to wear a black turban to the awards show, something she did both for both herself and in honor of the Time's Up initiative. 

“I am obsessed with [it],” she said at the time. “I saw this Marc Jacobs turban on the runway when it walked down and…I said I will wear that turban! And so, it came true in a beautiful moment of solidarity and power that I could stand as a we but also in my own glory as an I.”

Watch the video below for more ET's interview with Ross:

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