BLACK VOICES
02/26/2016 01:09 pm ET

Tracee Ellis Ross Shares A Powerful Message Of Self-Acceptance

The 'Black-Ish' star spoke about perfection at the Essence Black Women In Hollywood luncheon.
Tracee Ellis Ross onstage during the 2016 ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood awards luncheon.
Earl Gibson III via Getty Images
Tracee Ellis Ross onstage during the 2016 ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood awards luncheon.

Tracee Ellis Ross shared a message of self-acceptance at Thursday's Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon, where she was honored with the Fierce & Fearless award.

In her acceptance speech, the "Black-ish" star revealed that just days before, she had gotten sick and lost her voice, and was almost unable to attend the event.

“I wasn't supposed to be here,” Ross said. “Two days ago I didn’t have a voice; I went to work as a silent actress. But [not having a voice] helped me learn that I am not the sound of my voice. I am me and I could be the same me without my voice.”

Ross then encouraged the women in the audience to embrace the idea that "perfect is not the goal."

“We should remind ourselves in daily life to make space for selfhood,” the actress added. "Boobs don't belong up here, they belong down here. This is where God put them. I am human. I listen to fear and lean into it. I don't always feel fierce but I do feel human."

Among attendees at the star-studded event iwere Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes, Issa Rae and Chris Rock.

View photos from the event below. 

  • Oprah Winfrey (C) and actress Holly Robinson (R) attend the 2016 ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood awards luncheon. 
    Rich Polk via Getty Images
    Oprah Winfrey (C) and actress Holly Robinson (R) attend the 2016 ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood awards luncheon. 
  • Actress Tika Sumpter (L) and guest. 
    Imeh Akpanudosen via Getty Images
    Actress Tika Sumpter (L) and guest. 
  • (L-R) Singer Zendaya, guest, actress Keke Palmer, and Multicultural Communications Manager at Lincoln Motor Company Raj Regis
    Imeh Akpanudosen via Getty Images
    (L-R) Singer Zendaya, guest, actress Keke Palmer, and Multicultural Communications Manager at Lincoln Motor Company Raj Register. 
  • Actresses Kym Whitley (center) and Yvette Nicole Brown (R). 
    Rich Polk via Getty Images
    Actresses Kym Whitley (center) and Yvette Nicole Brown (R). 
  • (L-R) TV personalities Bevy Smith and Shaun Robinson and guest. 
    Rich Polk via Getty Images
    (L-R) TV personalities Bevy Smith and Shaun Robinson and guest. 
  • Fashion stylist Ty Hunter (R).
    Rich Polk via Getty Images
    Fashion stylist Ty Hunter (R).
  • Actress Rhonda Ross Kendrick. 
    Rich Polk via Getty Images
    Actress Rhonda Ross Kendrick. 
  • (L-R) Actress Tika Sumpter, actress Holly Robinson, and author Iyanla Vanzant. 
    Rich Polk via Getty Images
    (L-R) Actress Tika Sumpter, actress Holly Robinson, and author Iyanla Vanzant. 
  • (L-R) Rhonda Ross Kendrick, Tracee Ellis Ross, and SVP, Drama Development at ABC Studios Channing Dungey. 
    Jesse Grant via Getty Images
    (L-R) Rhonda Ross Kendrick, Tracee Ellis Ross, and SVP, Drama Development at ABC Studios Channing Dungey. 
  • Actress Angela Robinson (L) and Oprah Winfrey. 
    Rich Polk via Getty Images
    Actress Angela Robinson (L) and Oprah Winfrey. 
  • Writer/producer Shonda Rhimes. 
    Earl Gibson III via Getty Images
    Writer/producer Shonda Rhimes. 
  • (L-R) Actors Holly Robinson, Boris Kodjoe, and Nicole Ari Parker. 
    Rich Polk via Getty Images
    (L-R) Actors Holly Robinson, Boris Kodjoe, and Nicole Ari Parker. 
  • Actress Issa Rae. 
    Earl Gibson III via Getty Images
    Actress Issa Rae. 
  • Actress Meagan Good. 
    Earl Gibson III via Getty Images
    Actress Meagan Good. 
  • Singer Kelly Rowland (L) and host Lala Anthony. 
    Imeh Akpanudosen via Getty Images
    Singer Kelly Rowland (L) and host Lala Anthony. 
  • Actress Vicky Jeudy. 
    Earl Gibson III via Getty Images
    Actress Vicky Jeudy. 
  • Actresses Garcelle Beauvais (L) and Keke Palmer. 
    Imeh Akpanudosen via Getty Images
    Actresses Garcelle Beauvais (L) and Keke Palmer. 
  • Fashion blogger Claire Sulmers. 
    Earl Gibson III via Getty Images
    Fashion blogger Claire Sulmers. 
  • TV personality Demetria Lucas D'Oyley. 
    Earl Gibson III via Getty Images
    TV personality Demetria Lucas D'Oyley. 
  • Actress/singer Zendaya. 
    Earl Gibson III via Getty Images
    Actress/singer Zendaya. 
  • Actress Anika Noni Rose. 
    Earl Gibson III via Getty Images
    Actress Anika Noni Rose. 
  • Actress Tia Mowry. 
    Earl Gibson III via Getty Images
    Actress Tia Mowry. 
  • Actress Omotola Jalade Ekeinde. 
    Earl Gibson III via Getty Images
    Actress Omotola Jalade Ekeinde. 
  • Actress Lena Waithe. 
    Earl Gibson III via Getty Images
    Actress Lena Waithe. 
  • Actress Aja Naomi King. 
    Earl Gibson III via Getty Images
    Actress Aja Naomi King. 
  • Actress Amber Riley. 
    Earl Gibson III via Getty Images
    Actress Amber Riley. 
  • Actress Serayah McNeill. 
    Earl Gibson III via Getty Images
    Actress Serayah McNeill. 
  • Singer Erica Campbell. 
    Earl Gibson III via Getty Images
    Singer Erica Campbell. 
  • Actress Tika Sumpter. 
    Earl Gibson III via Getty Images
    Actress Tika Sumpter. 
  • Actress Wendy Raquel Robinson.
    Earl Gibson III via Getty Images
    Actress Wendy Raquel Robinson.
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