Tracee Ellis Ross is living her life on her own terms.

The 48-year-old, who turns 49 on Friday, chats to Harper’s Bazaar about finding happiness on her own in a new interview.

“I didn’t see enough examples of different versions of how a woman can find happiness and joy and power and sensuality, sexuality, all of that, without it being through the lens of how I’m seen by a man.

“People are like, ‘You’re the poster child for being single.’ And I was like, ‘Great.’ But what I would prefer is that I’m the poster child for living my life on my terms. And that there’s a version of that for everyone. I don’t live my life for other people. I just totally live it for me.

“This is something that has really solidified itself into an unbreakable, unshakable foundation in the last four or five years.”

Tracee Ellis Ross. Photographed by: Renell Medrano
Tracee Ellis Ross. Photographed by: Renell Medrano

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Ross adds of using her platform to speak up for what she believes in: “There were a lot of instances on ‘Girlfriends’ when I used my voice powerfully and it wasn’t well received.

“People don’t want to be told that what they’re doing might not be the right thing or might not make everybody happy. But I am somebody who—I don’t just go along to get along.”

The “Black-ish” star talks about her journey to becoming more outspoken and bold, telling the mag: “Listen, learning to be me has been a really long journey. I tried being small and feeling things in little ways.

“It took me a long time to get to know myself, to accept myself, and even on some days to really like and love myself. And then it took me a whole other load of years to have the courage to actually live in the world as that person. And it’s been trial and error, chewing on ground glass. It’s been a hard-earned journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. I mean, I came out of the womb like this. I literally think I was like, ‘Woo-hoo! I’m here. What have you got? Let’s go!’”

Tracee Ellis Ross. Photographed by: Renell Medrano
Tracee Ellis Ross. Photographed by: Renell Medrano

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Ross then discusses aging, insisting “I’m the sexiest I’ve ever been.

“And when I say that, I mean I feel the most myself. And the information is just not out there. And it’s as if you get to this age and—what was that Tina Fey sketch?” referencing the one Fey starred in on “Inside Amy Schumer” called “Last F**kable Day”. “It’s like, they’re going to cart me off in a canoe into no man’s land. F**k that. Shut up. I’m going to be sexy all over the place. Living my life with my juice.”

Ross adds of finding a sense of home in the people and things that surround her: “Because of the childhood that I had and my mother’s career, from an early age, even though I couldn’t define it at the time, I had to find a sense of home and safety within my body and with people.

“It wasn’t always about a space, and that remains for me. Home for me is about safety and embrace. It’s about shedding all the external masks that we have to wear out in the world. Home is really about beauty, safety, history. My friendships are home for me. My family is home for me. It’s an energetic connection that creates a sense of safety and groundedness, where I don’t have to wear any mask. I can just be myself.”