Self-Talk with Tracee Ellis Ross

Antidote Tracee Ellis Ross

Self-Talk with Tracee Ellis Ross

In the first episode of The Antidote, hosts Amy Aniobi and Grace Edwards connect with Tracee Ellis Ross on plant care, positive self-talk and belly rubs.

Amy and Grace share their bummer news of the week, discussing the U.S. Supreme Court nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson, Texas Republicans removing books from kids' classrooms and the return of the platform shoe.

Amy and Grace also share their antidotes for the week - hiking! flowers! - that helped them deal with the madness.


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Amy The world is a dumpster fire. I'm Amy.

Grace And I'm Grace.

Amy And we want to help. And fair warning. Our help comes with some strong language attached. So hide your kids, please. Like hide them now, because we've got to say some things.

Grace As a reflex to the f---ing madness on the news. We're keeping it positive, uplifting, but opinionated.

Amy We talk about cultural moments we love.

Grace Talk to people we adore.

Amy Crushes we have.

Grace And self-care we stan.

Amy During these trying times. We all need a show that focuses on joy.

Grace Welcome to our first episode of The Antidote. My name is Grace Edwards.

Amy And I'm Amy Aniobi.

Grace And as close as we are, we actually don't remember when or where we officially met. But since there is not a ton of Black lady comedy writers in Tinsel Town, we probably met through friends, you know. Somewhere like.

Amy Bitch. Tinsel Town, you old.

Grace Tinsel Town. I stand by it because it's what, festive. But I suppose it is more commonly known as Hollywood. But we got a lot closer when we started working together on an HBO show. You might have heard of it called Insecure, starring the wonderful Issa Rae. And we were kind of work wives. Everybody at work was very disgusted.

Amy I still remember a day that I was late to the zoom, and I came in and you were like, There's my perfect friend Amy. She's so brilliant and flawless. And everyone went, ugh.

Grace I know. Oh, my God, same. I am Amy's hype woman. I just. I don't know. I just think everything you do is perfect. Nothing you've ever done was wrong.

Amy Right back at you, girl. You're a f---ing queen. Let no one near me ever say nothing else. Okay, well, Insecure, sadly, has ended, and we no longer work together.

Grace So since we're always kiki-ing in about how f---ed up the world is right now, and we help each other through the bullsh--, we thought we could invite y'all in to join us. So here we are on this lovely ass and hopefully healing ass podcast.

Amy Mm. The world is so dark right now.

Grace It's bleak.

Amy So f---ing heavy, and it's important to us to be able to absorb the news, but we don't want the news to absorb us. So we were like, okay, we need to know what's going on in the world. But after we take in that trauma, what's our antidote? What are the things that heal us from how shady the messes we made the show The Antidote because it's what we needed. But then we actually discovered a quote by Queen bell hooks that fully convinced us the name was solid.

Grace The quote is The practice of love is the most powerful antidote to the politics of domination. Again, the practice of love is the most powerful antidote to the politics of domination. Isn't that a whole word?

Amy As Black women, we are always fighting to keep our head above water. And this quote inspired us to talk not only about our healing, but also about creativity. So after our antidote guest interview will have a moment called the creative tap in, where we chat about creative process and what helps us do our jobs.

Grace So we're going to have guests every week. We're going to have suggestions for ways that you can feel better about your life. So we hope you enjoy it.

Amy So now that we've set this bitch up, let's get into the show.

Amy For real. Let's do it.

Amy Well, we can't have the antidote if we don't have something to get an antidote from. So starting now, up top with our bummer news of the week, the GOP has been grilling Ketanji Brown Jackson, who, by the way, is a Harvard grad. And all around, as you know, we always have to be a bad bitch. They've been grilling her about her opinions on like things that she shouldn't even have to talk about at this level, like child pornography cases, her religion, critical race theory, the anti-racist baby book.

Grace I didn't Cruz ask her to, like, be like, what is the woman like? I just can't. I mean, at the end of the day, it's just an attack on trans women. As we all know. These things go on. They're trying to trap her into a definition of what a woman is. And we all know by this point, if you're not ignorant, that a women can be many different things. The sex that you were assigned at birth is not necessarily your gender. So, you know, it's all tomfoolery at the end of the day.

Amy I love that you said tomfoolery after using Tinsel Town in the same episode. Grace. You are 80 year old times 80 as your bio on Twitter says. But literally, like they consistently interrupted her. They consistently talked over her. They repeated point. She is answer. They're just talking in circles around her, trying to confuse her. But b-, she is the Barack Obama of women. She is like the gold standard of what it is to be in this job because we all have to be perfect to get to that level. And if she's confirmed, she will literally be the first black woman to serve on the Supreme Court. And they are trying to stop at nothing to stop this person from getting as far as she's getting further than she's already gotten. And it is infuriating to me.

Grace Yeah. I mean, it's I'm so afraid that she's not going to get it and she's so qualified. Look what they did to Merrick Garland. And that was the white man. So I if if she is actually confirmed, that will be a very good day. And that will be an antidote for me, actually.

Amy Yeah. There's more to make. You saw this week now my home state where Ted Cruz is from. There are all these superintendents that are pulling books from the libraries that are talking about sexuality and transgender people. And for me, this this riled me up because I'm just like, well, let me just say the thing first. So basically, for months, conservative parents and politicians across Texas have been pressuring districts to remove from school libraries any books that contain explicit descriptions of sex labeling, several young adult novels as pornography. And I'm over here like if it's in a school library, guess what? It's not pornography because you know it's pornography. X tube pornhub, the entire f---ing Internet, which your child has access to because you got them a phone when they were well. So they already know what tits are. So what the f--- are you talking about? Greg Abbott. What the f--- are you talking about? Texas. You need to stop this sh--.

Grace Yeah, it's very frustrating because it's sort of like, I mean, at the root of all of this and Florida's don't say gay bill Oliver. The root of it is homophobia and transphobia. And they're trying to they know that they don't want to be known, just like people don't like to be known as racist. People don't like to be known as homophobic. I think less people care about not being known as transphobic, but that's another conversation. So they don't want to call a thing a thing, which is that we don't want our kids being exposed. That to that fact, the actual fact that there's gay and trans gender people out there. So we're going to call it porn because nobody's going to be able to argue with taking porn out of schools. I think we can all agree that that's not what anybody wants, of course. But it's but that's the thing that is so infuriating about it. Call it what it is. You don't want your kids being exposed to the facts of the world. And that's what it is. That's what it is. Yeah.

Amy But that's not the only thing pissing me off this week. Okay. I'm sorry. There's so much bummer news, even like for our first episode. But I'm also pissed off by the fact that platform shoes are coming back. Have you heard about this? They're like calling it the trend. They're like, Oh, we're making the Internet wholesome again by bringing back platform shoes. Platform shoes like those big ass bricks that used to be under your feet when you would go to, like, you know, a play in high school and you would run too fast and slide to the side and you'd roll your ankle because your whole shoe like flops to the other side of your foot and you fall down. That's what's coming back. Well, and they literally are calling it mood enhancing fashion because people are all nostalgic because of the pandemic.


Grace Well, I refuse. I refuse. Why are we having nostalgia for this period in time? That was not bad. F---ing great. You know.


Amy It was a dark decade. Okay, so anyone who was sleeping under a rock has to have seen or has to know now that there was a certain presenter who made a certain comment about a certain nominee's wife, and that nominee walked on stage and smacked the sh-- out of him on live television and then yelled, Keep my wife's f---ing name out your f---ing mouth twice. That's a. Blip it all out. It literally went past network sensors in Australia and in Japan. So you can look up the unedited feed to know that this is real. And literally was wild because I mean, I want to keep their names out my mouth so nobody comes for me. But we kind of have to say their names to talk about this news item.


Grace Yeah, we have to say their name. Just say their name. Like everybody knows that it was Will Smith who did the slapping and Chris Rock who did the talking.


Amy Yeah, so what a bummer.


Grace It was a bummer because first of all, I just want to say it had already been a bad night for black people. Can you just start there?


Amy Yeah, except for.


Amy The first award of the night. Ariana Debose.


Grace Yeah. You like to pose we stand her Afro-Latin acts. Correct? We love you. Congratulations on your Oscar. And then it started with the glorious Beyoncé performing her glorious yellow and then blue ivy in the front locket. And Jennifer, just let us know. Get ready. Get ready. Because I'm almost here, y'all. I'm almost here. And I'm up here with my mama just doing the damn thing. But then, you know, a lot of black people lost, including Beyoncé, that that made me that always makes me furious. I was just like, so, you want.


Amy I knew it was going to be Billie Eilish.


Grace  To. You Want this queen to come and bring the war.


Amy Dress like a f---ing tennis ball as sexiest and it's all on by.


Grace Her daughter Correo. And then you gon deny this queen her? They will once again the for the second time by the way. Yeah. So that happens. And then I'm sorry, Jane Campion one year.


Amy After she insulted the Williams sisters.


Grace Yeah. So she's dead to me because of that. So.


Amy Jane who?


Grace We had already had a bad night or whatever as the Blacks of America. And then this comes and I remember I was sitting next to my mom and I was just like, What's happening? Oh, this must be a bit. Oh, my God. Wait, what are. And then I heard all the silence.


Amy Mm. I thought my loudspeakers went out.


Grace I was just like, Oh, my God, I don't think that was a bit. And then everybody, like both of us were so confused. Of course, I run straight to Twitter to see if there was any confirmation. And it was real, y'all. It was really real.


Amy Yeah. And I think the bummer is that Black people are once again caught in the middle between. I could not sleep that night because I was, like, caught in the middle between like what is right and what is wrong here? And here's why. Because literally sticking up for a Black woman in a public forum. Correct? Slapping a man in a public forum, maybe not slap it in front of all these white people, but also Chris Rock. Why you coming for his wife? And second of all, he is a comedian, so he is allowed to make jokes. But we are always making jokes about Black women. And third of all, I lost count. But I was just like, we're stuck in the middle. And I'm seeing all these hot takes on Twitter of women being like, I love an angry Black man. And I'm like, No bad take. And then people like, Will you be in jail? And I'm like, No bad take. I like, I don't know. Is it, do you think?


Grace Yes. He should not have slapped Chris Rock.


Amy I mean, not on. Not on that stage. Let's say that.


Grace Maybe he could have said, I'll see you outside.


Grace You know what I'm saying. That part too. But I was just like, maybe keep your my wife's name out of your f---ing mouth. Maybe could have been said. Yeah. Or, or whatever. I don't know what the procedure was for Jada, but he but that was first of all, it was a bad joke. It's obviously a commentary on her appearance. And I remember like after what happened to Chadwick, people were kind of like, let's stop commenting on people's appearance because we don't know what's going. Yeah, and we did.


Amy We do know. No, we do know. Jada has publicly spoken about her hair loss and her decision to shave her head. We do know what's going on with her.


Grace I know, but


Amy So maybe don't talk about it.


Grace But in the like, because some people were just like, did Chris Rock know?


Amy Of course he did. He made a movie called Good Hair. He made a movie called Good Hair.


Grace But yeah, but okay. So if we give it to him that he did not know that. Okay, then even still, let's stop making jokes about people's appearance just in general, because it's just not.


Amy Don't do it. Low hanging fruit.


Grace It's low hanging fruit. And unless you're saying that this person is stunning, like, why would you come for somebody on a stage that is a billion people. People watch this.


Amy All over the world.


Grace So why would you try to embarrass this woman or say something.


Amy Again.


Grace Bald head.


Amy Again? Cause he came for her in 2015.


Grace Front of everyone. So I feel like he snapped. I don't know, I, I do not condone it. But also, there's a part of me that understands why he did it. Yeah. Just want to clarify. I do not condone what will did. I, I just can get inside his head.


Amy Yeah, I condone the emotion. And that led.


Grace I condone the emotion. Yes, but I know you condone the action because you shouldn't be walking up and slapping people. Like. Like it's just not.


Amy Yeah. I also do not condone all the hot takes. I'm like white people. Sit this one out. Sit this one out. I saw arrest him trending. I saw. I saw. There's so many things I saw trending last night that I was like, why people be talking too loud about sh-- that is not their business. This is black people's business. Will Smith is from Philly. He reminded us last night. West Philadelphia, born and raised. And Chris Rock is. Wait, where's he from? Brooklyn.


Grace Yeah. Bed-Stuy.


Amy So, I mean, they both know don't start now and won't be. And they both decided to start some last night. And I'm like or Chris decides to start something and I'm like, it's settled. It's handled like.


Grace That. I mean, that's the reason why he did not press charges. I was like, Yeah, there's no way. Chris.


Amy Are you kidding? He just got his net net or Netflix stand up deal.


Grace There's no way. No, I'm saying there's no way.


Amy Literally Chris Rock is going to have a special after this.


Grace You know what I'm saying.


Amy He would never he would never. Denzel went and took him aside too.


Grace To do that to each other at that level. So I was like, yeah, I was tired of the hot takes. I'm just like. Just. You know.


Amy This is what I'm talking- yeah, and this is what I'm talking about. Like the, the tragedy, the bummer of, like, negotiating our Blackness in white spaces because people were like, how dare the academy let him receive that award after Harvey Weinstein has received awards, after Casey Affleck has received awards, after so many people, Roman Polanski, so many people who are openly violent and non apologetic have received comparable awards. And I'm like Academy's they take in their awards. Why would they stop us from getting this one? They don't give a sh--


Grace As as messed up as that is. I will be angry at the Academy if they take his Oscar back.


Amy Oh, no, it's not messed up. Unless you're also go back in time and take back every single award from every single confirmed abuser in their history.


Grace Exactly. And they're not going to do that.


Amy Oh, so you better leave Will Smith alone.


Grace Exactly. You better leave it alone. And let's keep cool heads here. Let's relax.


Amy Yeah, I completely agree. But it did really buy me out, just. Just having to think about it anyway. I mean, how do you feel, Grace. After hearing all of that?


Grace Well, I feel like absolute sh--. How about you?


Amy Terrible. Okay.


Grace Let's get to our antidotes.


Amy So this is the segment where we tell you about the culture we consumed and things we did this week that made us feel better about the bummer news. So what was your antidote this week?


Grace I went to Runyon Canyon in Los Angeles. So those of you who don't know what Runyon Canyon is, it's sort of a park that is very hilly and you climb upwards. It's very, very popular as the thing to do here in L.A.. I decided to drive up to Runyon Canyon and take a hike and it was lovely. So I climbed all the way to the top. And when you get to the top, it's just like this beautiful view of Los Angeles. And it was a really clear, sunny day. And I felt like Mufasa on the top of the hill. I was just like, everything the light touches is yours. That is.


Amy Masai Kenya.


Grace But obviously that's not true. I do not own everything. The light touches in Los Angeles, but for a moment I felt like I did. And so I just really think it's a great way that, you know, anyone can do this, you know, even if you don't live near like a hiking trail or whatever, you can get outside, go to a place that you don't normally walk. If you're taking just a regular walk, go to a park, go to the ocean. You know, when I'm on my hike, you know, I got my AirPods in listening to a podcast or some music. So I'm not like on my phone looking at all the alerts coming in. Like, This thing is sh--. This is another reason the world is like, you just take a break from that for a minute. So, Amy, what was your antidote this week?


Amy Well.This week my antidote is actually something I use pretty often. I really love arranging flowers and it's something that I started doing through the pandemic. But there was something about the stillness of always just being in your space and everything being the same every day, like wake up, shower, zoom, go, go. Go, zoom, zoom, don't go to sleep. It was just, like, so monotonous that I was just like, I need something in this house that is living. Yeah. And I had worked with this woman. Her her Instagram is the Plum Dahlia, and she's amazing. And she literally brings me a bucket of flowers. Her name is Brooke.


Grace Oh, yeah, that's my plant lady, too.


Amy Yeah. Brooke's, your plant lady, too. I love her. So. But she she was like, oh, I'm actually she helped me, like, pick some plants. And then she was like, I'm actually a florist and I really work a lot with flowers. And she took me to the flower market and I got to see all these fresh flowers. This one morning at like 5 a.m. we went to the flower market in the pandemic, and I was like, things are alive, well, thriving. So every two weeks, she brings me a bucket of flowers of just like mixed flowers from, I think, the flower market in downtown L.A. and leaves them on my doorstep. I pay her, but it's so nice to just get like generally I'm just surprised me. Whatever's in season, just bring it and dump it. And she brings me a bucket of flowers and it's like a ritual that every Friday after work or every other Friday, it's every two weeks that she brings these flowers. Because I will disconnect from my computer and I turn on a good song and it's just me and the flowers. And I unroll all the flowers she gives me on my kitchen counter. And I cut them all and I like take off the lower leaves and I get my vases out and I choose a what goes in this face, what goes in that vase filled with water, put in the plant food, put in the flowers, make my little arrangements. And to be honest, the reason it's an antidote is because I don't know if it's because I'm Nigerian, a child of immigrants, but like, I try and monetize like every hobby I a writer that was a hobby and I was like, Let's turn that into income. I was like, I need something that is actually a hobby that is fully just mine and isn't for anyone but me. And I take pictures of the flowers, but I don't post them. I did one reel and Tik Tok way back in the pandemic because I was bored. But like, I just always take pictures and they're just my pictures of my flower arrangements. But I wanted to say the thing that inspired me to actually start doing a flower arrangement instead of getting bouquets was this woman I follow on Instagram bio blooms. I follow her to watching bee like just literally like turn that face around and figure out what she's going to do with the arrangement. I was like, I can do that and not in a like, I can't do it like her. Like she's like a full virtuoso, but I'm like, I can do that. Like I can do it on my scale and smaller and janky or but like just for me, I can do that and it looks like it calms her. So I want to see if it calms me and it literally does.


Grace Oh, I love it. And also I just love that both of our antidotes kind of had to do with nature. This this time we don't tell each other, so. Right. Yeah, we don't tell each other. So yours was about the sort of beauty of nature. Bringing that beauty into your house. And mine was about going out into Nature Annex and experiencing nature that way. So, you know, just take a moment for this week, even if it's 10 minutes, just get outside, even if it's in your backyard, you know? You know, we live these lives where we get it from car or if you live in a big city where there's a subway, you go from your subway to your home and their screens at work and their screens are home. Or you have a zoom life like I do, and you're just at home, you know what I'm saying? Zoom, zoom, zoom. All I want to do is with her, zoom. Zoom, zoom and boom, boom.


Amy Zoom, zoom, zoom and another zoom.


Grace So, you know, just step away, get outside, realize there's a whole natural world out there and we're supposed to be a part of it.


Amy Oh, I love that. Well, we'll be right back after this break. Here we go. Welcome back to the Antidote. We have a special guest today. Who is it, Grace?


Grace Our guest today is a decorated actress with multiple Emmy nominations, several NAACP Image Awards and a Golden Globe for her starring role as Dr. Rainbow Johnson in ABC's critically acclaimed series Blackish. She is the founder and CEO of Pattern Beauty. She is an executive producer who I am lucky enough to work with on Jodi, our Daria spinoff. And she's the founder of Joy Mill Entertainment. She is a fashion icon. And if you look up the word baddie in the dictionary, she is the picture with the definition. Finally, she's one of the most light filled beings I have ever had the privilege of meeting. Please welcome Miss Tracee Ellis Ross.


Tracee Ellis Ross Oh, my God. That was crazy. I will say this. You forgot one really important factor.


Grace What's that?


Tracee Ellis Ross Your friend.


Grace You're my friend, of course.


Amy Oh, my God.


Grace Oh my God. How could I ever.


Amy She could have used her platform to pump up herself? And you see how she didn't? That's Grace.


Grace I know.


Amy A selfless Queen.


Grace My. My wonderful friend.


Amy We are so honored to speak with you. You are so impressive, Tracee.


Tracee Ellis Ross Oh, my God. Cool it. The two of you. Or my new favorite expression. Get out of here.


Amy But we aren't here to talk about your many, many accomplishments. Just so you know, we're here to get deep.


Grace So let's check in first. How are you feeling today? Like, for real, not small talk. Like, is there anything that you that's weighing on you are making you feel amazing today. How you felling?


Tracee Ellis Ross I'm actually feeling really good today. Last night I got a really good night's sleep and. Yeah, and, you know, right now they're not easy to come by for me. And so I'm really big on my sleep because I'm I move very heartily through a day. And I read I, you know, all cylinders fire during a day for me. So when I actually turn it off, like I really like to get that room and get in there. And in this growth spurt that I am in, as these hormonal shifts are occurring in my body at 49 years old, there's some growing pains around this growth spurt. And I'm the sleep has been hard to come by. And so the last last night I like got a good night's sleep and it was like, oh, that was juicy. So it made today, even though it was really hefty. I had a really good day today. How is today for you?


Amy I'm so happy to hear that. I feel great today for the same reason as you, Tracee. I, I have been running on fumes since 2022 started and I literally had a breakdown while at the gym yesterday and started crying out of exhaustion. And I went to bed last night at 9:45 p.m. and I was like, couldn't have done a better thing for myself. I feel like we don't sleep enough as a society.


Tracee Ellis Ross We don't. And and by the way, Amy, it's so interesting. I remember. I mean, we all have heard this never endingly but I'll sleep when I'm dead. And I said to Naomi Campbell, she said, I'll sleep when I'm dead. And I said, Yeah, but here's the thing. You might die sooner.


Amy That's-


Tracee Ellis Ross Like like, you know, the sleep is and I also I think that which is why I love what you guys are talking about, particularly as black women and women. But culturally and societally, this idea of the hustle and the grind has given people a really kind of warped sense of how to be the most productive and how to have the most what I like to call juicy and joyful life. And I really think that rest harmony and your life balance, if you can find it, which is not always a choice for all of us when you have kids, I mean, sometimes finding a balance between work and play is just not possible. But and finding out what play is for you, like all those kinds of things. A nap. There's so underrated. And the truth is that I feel like if we gave better attention to those things, we actually would be more productive and it would be a more compassionate society.


Amy As you know, this show is called The Antidote because life is hard and we all need different antidotes to deal with the bullsh--. So I want to know, Tracee, we both want to know what's yours like, what's something non-work related that's bringing you joy this week? This month, this year?


Tracee Ellis Ross I love audiobooks. Like I love, love, love, them.


Amy What are you listening to right now?


Tracee Ellis Ross Something terror to. Any david Sedaris book is a favorite.


Grace Oh, he's so funny.


Tracee Ellis Ross Oh, my God. It's he's got a great voice hearing him. I really love listening to say layman's heavy can read it himself. I just finished that one. I love a good conversation with friends. Girlfriends. Mm.


Amy Yeah.


Grace Yes.


Tracee Ellis Ross I love a dinner. I'm not a big go or outer, but I just love putting on something cute and going to dinner. And that has been a real loss for me during the pandemic. Meantime, not have that because I love that to connect over food, my friends like really special. I love being with my nieces and nephews and my family. I have my siblings and my sister. My older sister Rhonda and my nephew Rafe came over and we planned on my favorite hike in the area and then we cooked lunch. Well, I cooked lunch and we listened to David Sedaris. He was so annoyed. My 12 year old nephew.


Amy Three antidotes in one.


Grace He's like, We have to listen to a book.


Tracee Ellis Ross So Annoyed. What are some of my other answers? I love a fresh cut flower.


Amy Mhmm


Tracee Ellis Ross I have plants all over my house.


Amy Yes.


Tracee Ellis Ross I care for them and I wipe their leaves down and I spritz them and I talk them.


Grace Amy's losing her. Sh--. I'm just. I'm just telling you, Amy's losing her sh--.


Amy I'm losing my sh--. Because. Because, like, literally, I do this. Literally. Look at my plant right here.


Tracee Ellis Ross That's a money plant. Amy.


Amy Yes. And I have plants all over my house and.


Tracee Ellis Ross That's a blossoming money plant.


Amy Literally. It's thriving, as is my bank account.


Grace Oh. Girl. Yeah, I have a money plant too, in my living room. And I also am a plant mom. I'm very I have a an app called Planter that helps me know when I should water them, my children, whether I should, when I should spritz them with I should give them a little, you know, plant food. Yes.


Tracee Ellis Ross My father is my plant app.


Amy I love that. He just calls you up. And he's like. Hey.


Tracee Ellis Ross No, seriously. And let's see. The best story is during the pandemic, I was living with a big fiddle leaf fig. I mean, recently she did not like the move and she's not thriving in the same way. But my dad, I was like, Dad, look at my fiddle. She's amazing. And he goes, He sent it back with a thumbs down.


Amy Rude.


Grace The shade the shade.


Tracee Ellis Ross Seriously. My dad is known for that, he said. I zoomed in. What is that ugly piece of tape on her? And I was like, Oh, I put the tape. So she goes up. He goes, Excuse me.


Amy Wow, you looking for problems.


Tracee Ellis Ross Hee said. Plants like beautiful things, too. Tracee, do you have a ribbon?


Amy Wow. He's right.


Tracee Ellis Ross He was right. So I went and got this beautiful velvet ribbon and put it on my plants. And and that was when she really started thriving. So but my dad literally we reported in my new house. We he did the whole front with. Me. We went to nursery together. We potted everything. He moved things around the house and, you know, it was a whole, whole thing. So my dad, when I have a question, I'll send him a picture of a leaf and be like, What's happening?


Grace Damn. Well, that wonderful.


Amy Randomly, he's like, Good morning to you.


Tracee Ellis Ross Seriously. Well, by the way. And now he'll send me text and say he'll say later, tell them that I miss them or whenever I feel like I mean out loud.


Grace Oh, my gosh. That you know what? Like knowing you, that makes me that makes so much sense that your dad is like that. By the way, I love when he makes an appearance on your Instagram. You guys are so adorable together.


Amy I'm curious. I want to know because, you know, we we both follow you on Instagram. And obviously, Grayson, you go way back, but I don't always know the story behind every gram. Could you walk us through the belly massage video that you posted? My favorite.


Grace My favorite video of all time. Yes. I was just like I just like scroll down through Instagram. But I was just like, oh, Tracee, it looks like, oh, she looks gorgeous.


Tracee Ellis Ross Okay. So I have a lot of antidotes. And I believe in movement and movement of the skin, movement of the body when I'm with my friend Adrianne and she's like, Why are you out of breath?


Amy You were breathless in the video.


Tracee Ellis Ross I said, I'm massaging my belly. And she was like, I'm sorry, what now? And I said, Well, I'm a smudging it. I just put some oil on, have a shower, whatever. I don't know what it was. And I said, I'm massaging it. And she was like and I said, Let me face time. You let me show you. Because I started telling her about it and how it was important. She was like, you're in scenes like face timed her. And then when I saw myself doing it I said need to hang up, got to record.. Now I have a philosophy for Instagram. I will not shoot something for Instagram. I won't get up for Instagram I won't like. But I was happy to capture things that are occurring. As a matter of fact, I'm thrilled.


Grace No, I really think it made a lot of women feel so good. Like, I figured that that to acknowledge that, you know, we our bodies are all changing. I know my body is very different than it was even five years ago. So. And I don't know, you still look so gorgeous.


Amy Well, I mean, look at you. Not only do you have an aspirational body as you're doing this, it also makes it, like, very approachable to be like, oh, right. Like, I can I can have fun.


Tracee Ellis Ross And even if I'm uncomfortable with my body, I have I can have a joy about it. And I don't. And the jiggle the the things that move, you know, like my body, I look at Instagram and I'm just like. Oh, is that what it looks like? I mean. It's so confusing, though, because it's a nightmare. It is. But it starts to really.


Grace Yeah. Gets in there.


Tracee Ellis Ross Like connect with what you see. You know, I remember when I was in my second, the beginning of college and the, the breast implants had sort of taken on younger. It wasn't. And I remember I was so self-conscious this one summer going to the beach because when I laid on my back, my boobs would go flat. Mm hmm. And they would, you know, fall down. And what I had been seeing and this is back then, so don't even talk about butts. But yes, I'm on with them. And their boobs would stay up and God bless everybody has different boobs. But I became incredibly self-conscious and I remember I can't remember who maybe it was a therapist, somebody who was like, first of all, all boobs are different.


Amy Yeah.


Tracee Ellis Ross They're just all different. Some people sit up, some people fall down, they do all different things. And I actually I think I wrote a piece about it, actually.


Amy I love that.


Tracee Ellis Ross I think I did. But but mine are like eggs and they just go and not hard boiled ones.


Amy Yeah. Not straight up in the carton.


Tracee Ellis Ross No.


Amy To the side.


Tracee Ellis Ross Ain't no shell on them, you know. I mean.


Amy They're really like yokes.


Grace Yeah.


Tracee Ellis Ross Like, you know, when you crack it in the pan, that's what this is. My. And so I had to, like, reconcile between what I was seeing and and what my body looked like and, you know, all that kind of stuff. I wish we all could have a more compassionate and. Loving. Relationship to not only what we see in the mirror, but what our bodies feel like. It's it can be like a really bad, like, worm in your head.


Amy Yeah.


Tracee Ellis Ross And I. I actively spend energy and time working against it.


Grace Yeah. I mean, can we talk about that? Like, what is the conversation that you have with yourself? Like when you see, you know, the egg yolks, when you see those funny moments, what is the conversation that you're having with yourself to try and get yourself to the place where you're accepting, you know, my my worthiness?


Tracee Ellis Ross This is what I say to myself. I mean, my worthiness, my beauty, my sexiness is not defined by my physical body. It is not if I think of women that I think are beautiful and worthy and sexy, it is not because I'm like, oh my God. Her ass is like so perfect. 


Grace It's never that.


Tracee Ellis Ross It's never been my thought. Never. And honestly, if you talk to those that you want to find sexy, they don't think that either.


Grace Mm. It's so true.


Amy That makes me so emotional.


Grace That makes me so emotional, too. And I, I just want to say that, like, what you are saying is going to be healing to a lot of women because, I mean, you are objectively fine as f---. So I definitely think that if you struggle, I think that a lot of women who struggle will feel a lot of comfort in that, that it's everyone. It's not. It's the way that we're programed. Yeah. So yeah.


Tracee Ellis Ross  And also, by the way, another piece of that is what you all see of me. I'm. Is what I have decided to share with you.


Amy For sure. Yeah.


Tracee Ellis Ross So, you know. Sure, I was flipping and slapping on my my whatever on my stomach, but it wasn't in the lighting where I would have personally been traumatized by it during and. And same thing with the pictures that I share or whatever. Like for every great sexy picture, there's 83 that I delete on it.


Grace No, I mean, everybody can relate to that one yourself because Lord knows, like literally I remember on my birthday, I, I was at Insecure, I was doing my, my cameo. You know, all the writers do cameos in episodes of Insecure, so I do my cameo and it was like my birthday and I had my makeup done and everything like that. And I was like, Ooh, this will be a great little birthday shoot, girl. I took a hundred pictures before I found one that was acceptable. To post. So, I mean, yeah, I mean, we can all relate to to that.


Amy No, but I love what you're saying about the separation of like who how you feel about yourself being separate from how you physically look. I'm like, I want to sit in that just a little longer because when I heard it, I was like, I've never said it to myself that way. And it's so important to realize that these are these half to for like mental health have to be two different things.


Tracee Ellis Ross Yeah. And I think part of what makes them two different things is knowing that is knowing where the connection lies between those two things.


Amy And you turn it around and make it into something so much better. I'm like, I love embracing exactly where we are. Both like as a I feel like things are so heavy right now. And obviously that's why we we love talking to people like you who are just bring some light in because everything it's perspective and keeping that good perspective on where we are.


Tracee Ellis Ross But I think the key and I will we can end on this. I think the key is finding what makes your heart sing and those things can be big and small and being able to cultivate and carve out space for yourself to do those things that allow harmony in your life, even if it's 5 minutes by yourself or 5 minutes doing a thing that you love and and to doting all of the reality of how hard life is. I am such an advocate. So what a treat. Number one, to talk to the two of us who I think are both amazing. One a friend and one that I'm now adopting, Amy.


Amy Thank you.


Tracee Ellis Ross Adopting a new friend. And also two women whose work I just am in awe of and really appreciate what you bring to the world in so many ways. And now with this as well. But the way you use your voice and the content you create that continues to create balance and harmony in the images of how we get to see ourselves in expansive, in an expansive, beautiful way is just exciting. So I'm happy to be here talking to the two of you about antidotes.


Amy Thank you, Tracee.


Grace Thank you, Tracee.


Amy Ah. That interview with Tracee Ellis Ross was amazing. If you want to see the video we referred to, it is on her Instagram and the post was dated February second.


Grace Now we're doing our creative tap in which we tip, tip, tip in to our creativity. Amy and I are both writers, so being creative brings us joy. And this is a podcast about joy.


Amy So Grace every week is going to surprise me with a quote about creativity, and I'm going to let her know what it makes me think.


Grace Here we go. The painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. I'll say that one more time. The painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. And that is from Mr. Jackson Pollock.


Amy Jackson Pollock? He a painter? I heard of him.


Grace Yeah, he liked to paint. He liked painting a lot of things.


Amy But I actually do like this quote because I am a writer. And when I'm writing, I believe that the characters are real people. I always try and design my characters like they're real. I give them biographies. Where are they from? Where do they grow up? Why did their parents name them that? What's your favorite song? I try and make them real people before I start writing. So the essence of to me when I hear the painting has a life of its own, let it come through. That's how I feel like I can't ram story through. When I'm writing, I'm like, What would this character actually do? And I if the character's a living person, I can't, like, say that they're going to do this thing because it's story convenient. It has to make sense. And I have to let that character move how they move. And sometimes I can want all day for something to happen in the story. But unless I make it make sense to my character, it's going to feel forced and it's not going to be a good painting of words. Yes. What does it make you think?


Grace Sometimes your characters, sometimes your story takes on a life of its own. And it's a weird thing then when it happens, because it's like. I. Wait, I did this, I did this. You are my creation. But at the same time, it does sort of have to make sense. The story points the jokes sometimes. Sometimes I will come up with a banger ass joke. And I was just like, okay, I did it today. I wrote a joke about medium penis energy, and I love that you love it.


Amy Yeah.


Grace But sometimes you got to kill a joke that is a f---ing bang or ass joke because it just doesn't make sense coming out of your character's mouth. It doesn't make sense with the story that we're telling. It doesn't connect. It's always a a sort of a freaky experience when you realize that you cannot bend the character to your will. You actually have to bend your will to the character sometimes.


Amy And isn't that like not to I don't want to sound like cocky or something, but is isn't that talent? Like, isn't that you as an artist? Like, there's a moment, I think, when you cross from proficient into talented, when you realize you can't force it. And I feel like Mr. Pollock in his splatter paint is literally like because to me, I look at his art. No offense, I get it. He's a virtuoso, but I look at his art. I'm like, it's just like some splatters. But I do think that he's saying that even this is unforced. Like, I let it breathe. And it was supposed to be this most yellow in this most blue and this much green. And I feel like there's like a tipping point when you realize, if I force it, it's going to be bad.


Grace Yeah, yeah. And it's like God or the universe or somebody out there, whatever you believe in. I feel like sometimes your work comes through you is just like, you know, when parents, you know, sometimes they're like, Oh, my child came through me, my child income from me. I mean, I ain't got no kids, though. The script is my baby's. So sometimes it comes through you and that is not of you. It's like comes through you. And yeah, that's like tapping into whatever, like, creative force there is. Okay, well, thanks for listening to the antidote. We hope this injected a little bit of joy into your week. I know it did mine. How about you?


Amy I feel good, girl. We should do this again sometime. Oh, we'll be here next week.


Grace And in the meantime, if you like to follow us on social, follow me. Grace. At Gracyact. That's G-R-A-C-Y-A-C-T.


Amy And follow me, Amy at AmyAniobi. A-M-Y-A-N-I-O-B-I. and follow the show at theeantidotepod.


Grace That's thee with two E's.


Amy And if you like feeling good about yourself, please subscribe at Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and also rate us five stars. This is our first episode. Please write us five. We need it.


Grace Goodbye.


Amy The Antidote is hosted by us Amy Aniobi and Grace Edwards. It's produced by Jenna Hanchard and our associate producer is Taylor Polydore.


Grace Our executive producer is Erica Kraus and our editor is Erika Janik. Sound Mixing by Evan Clark.


Amy Digital Production by Mijoe Sahiouni Sound Talent Booking by Marianne Ways. Our theme music was composed and produced by TT the Artist and Cosmo the truth.


Grace APM studio executives in charge are Lily Kim, Alex Schaffert and Joanne Griffith. Concept created by Amy Aniobi and Grace Edwards.


Amy Send us your antidotes at And remember to follow us on social media at theeantidotepod. That's thee with two E's.


Grace The Antidote is a production of American Public Media.


Amy Bye.