“What does one wear for their @crwnmag Beauty Bible issue cover? An elaborate and otherworldly CROWN, of course! In my cover story I talk about my idea of what beauty is, the legacy of beauty that I come from, celebrating Black beauty with @patternbeauty and more…” shares Tracee Ellis Ross to her Instagram community the day print copies of CRWN Magazine’s The Beauty Bible became available.
The radiant cover star, Ross, has played an influential role in the paradigm shift for representation of Black beauty within television, film, media, retail, and more. As an actress, producer and CEO, she uses her personal journey as a compass, reflecting on how saying yes to setting new beauty standards and having an arsenal of replenishing self-care tools can ultimately unlock one’s personal power over time. Tracee shares, “I believe that beauty is actually an internal force as opposed to a physical thing.”
An artfully fruitful set serves as the backdrop to luminescent portraits and an intimate dialogue with Ross centered around authenticity.
“We see Tracee as our harbinger of vibrant, life-giving juice and nourishment. Living food, rich with color and vintage Americana elements, serve as the backdrop for her vitality and energy,” shares CRWNMAG co-founder and Chief Creative Nkrumah Farrar. “The creative team’s intention is to celebrate Tracee’s milestone year [turned 50] and declare that this era of beauty is juicy, abundant and timeless.”
Ross’ portrayal of Joan Clayton, the only cast member with her hair styled naturally on the set of “Girlfriends” — the 2000 to 2008 long-running show (written by Mara Brock Akil) — created space for Black women to be celebrated, validated, and inspired during a time of limited on-screen representation. Ross’ own off-screen embrace of a healthy hair journey led her to tap into her inner reservoirs of courage to continue showing up confidently and contribute to widening the depictions of Black beauty in the media. Shows that would later follow like Insecure, debuting in 2016 (written by and starring Issa Rae), and Harlem, debuting in 2021 (written by Tracy Oliver) serve as examples of the industry-shifting seeds Ross helped plant early on between her on- and off-camera commitment to authenticity. Both shows feature multidimensional cast members who confidently rock intricate braiding styles, bantu knots, and a wide range of natural hairstyles previously not highlighted on-screen.
Insights from her own hair discoveries fueled her to embark on a 10-year product development journey that would ultimately lead her to launch the retail haircare empire Pattern Beauty, which centers juicy and joyful natural hair, ranging from curls to coils to tight textures and locs.
Ross shares with CRWNMAG, “I wrote my first haircare brand pitch when I first left ‘Girlfriends,’ so I was trying to get the company off the ground from 2008 to 2019. I had no interest in slapping my name on the formulas that existed, so I went through about seventy-five samples to get to the first four SKUs, and then we pushed our launch because I couldn’t get the leave-in conditioner where I wanted it to be.”
Through Joy Mill Entertainment, her production company, Ross continues to tell dynamic stories at the intersection of culture, humanity, and identity, uniquely expressed through the lens of personal hair tales. “The Hair Tales,” available on Hulu, was executively produced by Ross, Oprah Winfrey and Michaela Angela Davis. Ross says of the series, “Often our story as Black women and Black people, in general, is decontextualized in this country; but specifically as Black women, we are siloed off, and our narrative doesn’t string together with everybody else’s. We really wanted, to the best of our ability, [to] put together a beautiful collection of stories and use hair as an organizing principle, to share our humanity.”
Inside The Beauty Bible
Capturing the shifted perspective of today’s beauty needs in tangible print form, The Beauty Bible houses an intimate feature story by Tracee Ellis Ross offering tools for people to feel empowered and comfortable with who they are. Also within the 100+ pages are enriching conversations, inspirational visuals, and a diverse array of Black-owned products. Beauty industry titans like Danessa Myricks, Vernon François and Julee Wilson share honest depictions as visionaries who are widening the possibilities for how Black people see themselves in the media.
CRWNMAG is a 100% independent, Black-owned publication committed to amplifying the most beautifully honest representations of Black women. Wife and husband co-founders Lindsey and Nkrumah Farrar developed CRWNMAG to create a progressive dialogue around natural hair among the women who wear it. From celestial Black beauty visuals and authentic recommendations, CRWNMAG has been setting a new standard within beauty since 2016. The magazine is committed to creating space for us to be celebrated, validated, and inspired in the tangible formats of magazines, journals, prints and merch.