Tracee Ellis Ross gave an epic speech about being single and child-free at 45.

If you have marriage or child advice for actor Tracee Ellis Ross, keep it to yourself.

Speaking at Glamour's 2017 Women of the Year Summit on Nov. 13 in New York City, Ross (who is on "Black-ish") talked about taking ownership of her life and having the courage to live with her own wants and needs in mind.


In her incredible peech, the 45-year-old actor — who does not have any children and is not married — focused on overcoming the intense pressures facing women to follow the conventional path through adulthood that includes settling down with a partner and starting a family together.

"It’s really interesting to be a woman and to get to 45 and not be married and to not have kids," Ross began.

She continued (emphasis added):

"You start hearing crazy shit like: 'Oh, you just haven’t found the right guy yet,' 'What are you going to do,' 'Oh, you poor thing,' 'Why is someone like you still single,' 'Have you ever thought of having kids,' 'Why don’t you just have a kid on your own?' It’s never ending and not helpful."

Photo by Chris Delmas/AFP/Getty Images.

Ross she said dreamed of having a wedding when she was a little girl, but she "also dreamed of winning an Oscar and being on the cover of magazines and making a difference in the world, helping women find our voices."

It was from those dreams that she's been able to shine brightly.

"I have built an incredible life. I have become a woman that I am proud to be," she stated.

"And then someone tells me about their friend who adopted a child at 52 and how 'it’s never too late for your life to have meaning,' and my worth gets diminished as I am reminded that I have 'failed' on the marriage and carriage counts. Me! This bold, liberated, independent woman."

Photo by Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images.

One day, when she was journaling, four words popped into her head and onto the paper — and they made all the difference in the world.

"I’m sitting there freewriting, maybe conversing with my inner child, and I write down: MY LIFE IS MINE."

"Those words stopped me in my tracks and honestly brought so many tears to my eyes. Seems so obvious, but obviously it wasn’t. Because I have not been living my life as if it was my own. I mean, to a certain extent, yes, but on a deep level, no. So, if my life is actually mine — then I have to really live it for myself. I have to put myself first and not be looking for permission to do so."

Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images.

Ross' words have garnered plenty of praise online and have especially struck a chord with women who've felt the same pressures to conform to societal norms as they grow older. Why should Ross — a Golden Globe-winning actor and successful entrepreneur — think for a second that she's less than because she doesn't have children and isn't married?

"Here’s some good news: You too can go from being you to being the brave you," Ross said, closing out her speech. "And you should definitely try it if you haven’t already!"

"Because brave you is so beautiful! Not beautiful like your hair all did or your brows all clean. When I think of what is beautiful, I think of a tree; I think of seeing a bird soar. I think of an embodied woman; I think of my mom in her ‘this is me’ glory stance, arms up, heart open, hair big, sexual, powerful, and full of agency.
***
This beautiful, powerful part of you is just waiting for your invitation."

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Women around the world are constantly bombarded by traditional and outdated societal expectations when it comes to how they live their lives: meet a man, get married, buy a home, have kids.

Many of these pressures often come from within their own families and friend circles, which can be a source of tension and disconnect in their lives.

Global skincare brand SK-II created a new campaign exploring these expectations from the perspective of four women in four different countries whose timelines vary dramatically from what their mothers, grandmothers, or close friends envision for them.

SK-II had Katie Couric meet with these women and their loved ones to discuss the evolving and controversial topic of marriage pressure and societal expectations.

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"What happens when dreams clash with expectations? We're all supposed to hit certain milestones: a degree, marriage, a family," Couric said before diving into conversation with the "young women who are defining their own lives while navigating the expectations of the ones who love them most."

Maluca, a musician in New York, explains that she comes from an immigrant family, which comes with the expectation that she should live the "American Dream."

"You come here, go to school, you get married, buy a house, have kids," she said.

Her mother, who herself achieved the "American Dream" with hard work and dedication when she came to the United States, wants to see her daughter living a stable life.

"I'd love for her to be married and I'd love her to have a big wedding," she said.

Chun Xia, an award-winning Chinese actress who's outspoken about empowering other young women in China, said people question her marital status regularly.

"I'm always asked, 'Don't you want to get married? Don't you want to start a family and have kids like you should at your age?' But the truth is I really don't want to at this point. I am not ready yet," she said.

In South Korea, Nara, a queer-identifying artist, believes her generation should have a choice in everything they do, but her mother has a different plan in mind.

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"I just thought she would have a job and meet a man to get married in her early 30s," Nara's mom said.

But Nara hopes she can one day marry her girlfriend, even though it's currently illegal in her country.

Her mother, however, still envisions a different life for her daughter. "Deep in my heart, I hope she will change her mind one day," she said.

Maina, a 27-year-old Japanese woman, explains that in her home country, those who aren't married by the time they're 25 to 30, are often referred to as "unsold goods."

Her mom is worried about her daughter not being able to find a boyfriend because she isn't "conventional."

"I really want her to find the right man and get married, to be seen as marriage material," she said.

After interviewing the women and their families, Couric helped them explore a visual representation of their timelines, which showcased the paths each woman sees her life going in contrast with what her relatives envision.

SK-II

"For each young woman, two timelines were created. One represents the expectations. The other, their aspirations," Couric explained. "There's often a disconnect between dreams and expectations. But could seeing the difference lead to greater understanding?"

The women all explored their timelines, which included milestones like having "cute babies," going back to school, not being limited by age, and pursuing dreams.

By seeing their differences side-by-side, the women and their families were able to partake in more open dialogue regarding the expectations they each held.

One of the women's mom's realized her daughter was lucky to be born during a time when she has the freedom to make non-traditional choices.

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"It looks like she was born in the right time to be free and confident in what she wants to do," she said.

"There's a new generation of women writing their own rules, saying, 'we want to do things our way,' and that can be hard," Couric explained.

The video ends with the tagline: "Forge your own path and choose the life you want; Draw your own timeline."

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