By: Ke’Tara Wells, N.W.A. Contributor
Former “Girlfriends” star Tracee Ellis Ross and daughter of legendary singer Diana Ross has revamped “Work That Body” from her mom’s 1981 album “Why Do Fools Fall in Love.”
Ellis Ross updated her website as a surprise to her mother when she recreated the video. She also expressed her curiosity regarding the lack of clothing her mom was featured in, as well as the representation of women of color in the media.
“I decided to recreate my Mom’s Work That Body video from 1981 as a fun experiment and a surprise for my mama! And ODE to her! While she has so, so many incredible moments to choose from, this one had an impact on me. At first I wasn’t sure why, but in true “Tracee” fashion I became a little obsessed. I like to study these things until I am clear about what I’m seeing, what it’s making me feel, and why,” she wrote on her website.
“I am keenly aware of how we as women (and most specifically women of color) are presented and portrayed in media and how we present ourselves. And here was my mama from almost 30 years ago on the surface doing something that often snags me in videos today but why did I feel differently about it?”
She also expressed the sense of empowerment she felt while watching her mom dance around in a one-piece suit. Though it was a different time, the context still remains. Ellis Ross had come to the conclusion that her mother was connected to her own body and spirit. Instead of showcasing every part of body, she embraced her legs, her curves and the swing in her hips while shaking the curls in her hair. She closed her message with no intent of judgment, but indicating that there is a difference in embracing who you are versus what you are shaking on camera for a few dollars in your pocket.