Summer 2015. The streets, office cafeterias and playgrounds are buzzing. People are only talking about one thing. “Have you seen episode 6?” Season 3 of Orange is the New Black has just been released, and no one got sleep last night because of the newest inmate: Stella Carlin. She’s Australian, she’s cocky, she’s gorgeous. And everyone is in love with her. Overnight, the actress behind Stella Carlin has become the talk of the town – in hundreds of towns.
That actress is 30-year-old Ruby Rose. She has starred in smaller productions such as the movie Around the Block and the TV series Mr & Mrs Murder. But it’s only by playing Stella Carlin that she has everyone confused: male, female, straight, gay, … Rose has set off an epidemic over the planet. Women confessing their girl crushes, people “going gay”, and even homosexual men are confused. In short: there’s something about Ruby.
But what exactly? What is it about her that makes people look twice, or rather … ten times? Why does Ruby Rose drive both men and women wild?
It’s hard to answer that question at once. There are at least 10 reasons to lose your mind over Ruby Rose.
If you ever meet Ruby Rose, chances are she won’t say hi – but she might greet you with G’day mate. Because although she’s heating up American living rooms right now, she was actually born in Melbourne, Australia. The country of surfboards and the Great Barrier Reef, boomerangs and didgeridoos, kangaroos and koalas. And … a ridiculously cool and sexy accent. She does not drink water, but woh-da. She does not like you, but she might loike you. And if you’re lucky, she might invite you to a barbie (meaning “barbecue”).
You would think that when a woman comes out as gay, men are disappointed. But for some reason, they tend to like it. In Ruby Rose’s case, also straight women get confused and even gay men have admitted being in love with her. So she’s got about every inch of the sexuality spectrum covered.
Rose came out of the closet at the age of 12 and is currently seen as an LGBTQ role model. In 2008 and 2009, she was among the 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians, a list by the Australian online gay and lesbian community Same Same. More recently (April 2016) she was recognized at the GLAAD Awards for making a "significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance for the community".
Some call her the female James Dean. Others suspect her to somehow be the love child of Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DiCaprio. If you didn’t know already, it won’t surprise you that she started out as a model. Her perfectly sculpted face was discovered in a competition by Australian teen girls magazine Girlfriend in 2002. Although Ruby Rose finished as runner-up to now famous model Catherine McNeil, the competition meant the start of her modeling career. She was asked to be the face for Maybelline, Ralph Lauren Denim and Urban Decay.
Fun fact: McNeil and Rose dated briefly late 2009 until July 2010 and are even rumored to have been engaged.
One of the first things you notice about Ruby Rose – after you’ve stopped staring into her deep, deep eyes – is of course her number of tattoos. She herself doesn’t even remember how many she has: “You know, if I was to count them individually each time I got them, maybe 60. But when they get close enough together, they start to become one. You know, like the sleeve. That was really 17 different tattoos, but now I can say to the big studio heads: it’s just 3 tattoos, guys.”
Some of her most noteworthy tattoos include “MEOW” on the inside of her bottom lip, “JUST LOVE” on her knuckles, and boxing gloves on her shoulder blade – in honor of her godfather, boxer Lionel Rose.
That’s right, Ruby Rose is an electronic dance music DJ. A woman with a headphone, mixing tunes and putting a dance floor on fire. Does it get any sexier?
Rose is not only hard to classify in terms of gender, she also refuses to use just one talent: she studied at the Victorian College of Arts in Melbourne and apart from being an actress, model and DJ, she is also a recording artist and a television presenter. She released her first song “Guilty Pleasure” in 2012. And she co-hosted the 2015 MTV Europe Music Awards with Ed Sheeran in Milan.
You might have seen a picture of Ruby Rose in a boxing ring. That was not just to look cool, or to pay tribute to her godfather and famous Australian boxer Lionel Rose. It was a charity boxing match, to raise money for youth mental health foundation Headspace. Rose has been ambassador for them for years, since she has battled with an alcohol addiction and suffered from depression when she was a teenager. So she is not only an LGBTQ role model, but also an example for young people having mental health problems or who are being bullied. Also, she has posed nude for animal rights organization PETA, under the slogan “I’d rather go naked than wear fur.”
She talked to The Daily Mail about the first time she was mistaken for Justin Bieber:
“I was (…) wearing these Calvin Klein's real high and jeans hanging low when I heard someone scream ‘Justin Bieber!’ I was like ‘Please don't be me’ and sure enough these girls came running up and were like ‘Oh my gosh, we're so sorry, we didn't realise you were a girl’.”
And ever since, she’s been joking about it. By posting on Instagram that she’s “been a lesbian with snapbacks and tattoos way longer than him”. She has also posted similar pictures of them with the caption “What do you mean?”. In an interview with Conan O’Brien, she said: “I hear that he gets asked a lot if he’s Ruby Rose, and it must be very frustrating for him.” When the supposed twins finally met, they took a selfie, which immediately went viral.
To stay in shape and to prepare for parts in future films such as John Wick and The Return Of Xander Cage, Rose regularly hits the gym. At the same time, she shows off her abs on Instagram, and who are we to complain? Note: she hasn’t always been this confident about her body, as she told The Guardian in 2014: “As a little kid, I was convinced that I was a guy. I used to bind with ACE bandages, which is really, really bad for you. (…) I used to sleep on my chest because I thought it would stop me from getting boobs.” Which brings us to the next reason everyone loves Ruby Rose: she can be both boyish and very feminine.
Ruby Rose generally dresses rather manly, but she still looks feminine. It’s this androgynous style that gives her an extra intriguing aura. It’s hard to classify Ruby Rose, and she loves playing with that confusion. In July 2014 she released Break Free on YouTube: a short movie that she wrote, produced and acted in. It shows Ruby in a blond wig, a dress and high heels, staring into the mirror. Then she cuts off her hair, washes off all of the make-up to unveil her tattoos, and dresses up like a man. If you were wondering why she has been compared to both Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DiCaprio, this video should explain it to you.
The Ruby Rose gif that has been shared most of all is the one in which she plays Stella Carlin, winking and smiling. It might sound innocent, but if you’ve seen it, you know it isn’t – it’s the kind of smile that makes your knees go weak. She is sexy and she knows it. She has this “I know what I want” and “Je m’en fous” charisma. Just look at the official promo video for the 2015 MTV EMAs, where she is contrasted with Ed cutie Sheeran. That same evening, she also taught him how to use a flamethrower. She’s a badass.
And confidence is sexy, especially if on top of that, you look like Ruby Rose.