Serve yourself a hot cup of tea and get comfy because Tracee Ellis Ross is here to get real, and her latest Instagram video provides a much-needed mood boost. On Thursday, Ross turned on the camera to check in on fans and discuss the importance of "choosing gratitude and compassion for the body over judgement." Harmful comments about putting on weight and avoiding the "dreaded COVID 19" have been around since stay-at-home orders were first issued, but Ross took a moment to remind her followers that weight gain is completely normal, especially in high-stress situations (aka this entire year). It's not only OK to gain weight, it's something an opportunity to show gratitude to our bodies.
"Perhaps the softness of my body is a blessing. It has been able to nurture me in a way that my mind could not."
"I didn't transform my body and exercise like a crazy woman . . . and, as a result, my body feels different," Ross said. "I sat more than I'm used to; I didn't do the same amount of cardio that I like; I wasn't in the gym because of the circumstances that we are all living in." During the last year, Ross said she turned to food and drink as "my comfort, my solace, my spontanaeity or my joy or my treat" to cope with the mental and emotional exhaustion of day-to-day life. Rather than shame herself for not being in her "peak space" physically — a behaviour perpetuated by unrealistic social media and societal body image standards — Ross thanked her body for keeping her safe during such a stressful time.
"My body has been incredibly wise," she said. "With all the sharpness and harshness and violence and fear that has been around, perhaps the softness of my body is a blessing. It has been able to nurture me in a way that my mind could not . . . I really encourage and invite all of us to receive the wisdom of our bodies right now and allow the softness, the weight, the whatever — and be grateful. I made it through this year! In some ways I've gotten deeper. In some ways I've gotten bigger. In some ways I am forever changed. But I don't think my physical body is the most important thing to come out of this very difficult time . . . This is a time to offer compassion everywhere, to our bodies, to each other." Watch Ross's full video here.