Tracee Ellis Ross Is A Modern Disco Queen With Her Swoopy Side-Bangs

Pure excellence.

Raymond Hall/GC Images/Getty Images
Tracee Ellis Ross bright pink lipstick 2023

Despite her famous pedigree, there’s a reason Tracee Ellis Ross — going on 23 years of fame in her own right — has never been lumped into the “nepo baby” conversation. Her hard work, palpable talent, and singularly creative spirit cemented her star status by virtue of her own merits, making her one of the most beloved screen and beauty stars of her generation. But every now and then, she whips out the coolest retro-inspired look that can’t help but remind her fans of her legendary lineage. Ross’s side-bangs on her latest Essence cover is sultry, fun, and even a little reminiscent of her famous mother, Diana Ross, and her signature disco diva hairstyles.

Ross’s look was actually part of a trio photoshoot, which also highlights Issa Rae and Erika Alexander. The three actor-creatives all star together in the upcoming film American Fiction, and brought their distinct aesthetics and personal style identities to the magazine cover. While Rae went for a sleek, slick ponytail and Alexander wore her signature rainbow-hued braids, Ross embraced her famously full curls. They’re perfectly fluffed up to their full potential, but it’s her bangs that really make a splash on the glossy cover.

The full spread shows some pictures of them parted down the center — one of Ross’s favorite ways to wear them — but the hero image features a swooping, eye-skimming side-bang that feel distinctly ‘70s. The ends are even curled up for a flippy finish, effectively framing her brows. Of course, even if they weren’t mother-daughter, you can hardly have a conversation about hairstyles from that era without invoking the iconic Diana Ross. Her own lash-grazing side-bangs were one of her go-to looks of the era, and her daughter clearly inherited those excellent hair genes.

Diana Ross in 1970 (left) and 1976 (right).

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Celebrity hairstylist Marcia Hamilton created Ross’ look for the blockbuster cover, just one of several high-profile projects they’ve worked on together. This one, though, feels special. Not only are Ross, Rae, and Alexander co-stars in a new film, individually, they’re titans of beloved Black woman-focused television shows — Living Single, Insecure, and Girlfriends — who helped shape the modern industry.

Ross’s perfect side-swept bangs are just the cherry on top of one of the best covers of the year.