If you follow Tracee Ellis Ross on Instagram (and you should) then you should know the Black-Ish star has been teasing a secret project and over the weekend, Ross finally revealed it to fans.
The 42-year-old actress paid homage to her mother by recreating her classic 1981 hit “Work That Body.” In the video, which premiered on Ross’ website, the curly-haired comedian is dancing in different colored leotards, mimicking Diana Ross’ moves, with images of her mom spliced in. In a brief note to fans explaining why she remade the video, Ross says despite it showcasing her then 36-year-old mom prancing around and shaking her bum for the camera, it didn’t evoke the same objectification seen in most videos today.
“I know it was a different time, it was the 80’s, but still, it didn’t feel like she was dancing as a presentation of herself, or like she was offering up her bits, which I feel like most videos are these days. Often in today’s images (moving and still), we are being objectified or we are objectifying ourselves. I think it is meant to be an empowered act, a reclaiming of our bodies. But that is not always what it feels like to me. I am not intending to judge, just exploring with curiosity.”
Ross realized because her mother was confident, the feel of the video demonstrated that, and she encourages all women to do the same.
“And then it hit me: My mom felt whole and connected …and in her body in this video. I have spoken before about encouraging women to shift our gaze from how we are seen to how we are seeing and, more important, feeling. And I saw a woman feeling joyful in herself as a whole being; she didn’t seem to be presenting her ass or saying look at all the ways I can make myself look appealing to YOU. She seems to be saying, “this is ME feeling good and I am strong and sexy and joyful in ME.