Ruby Rose's Changing Looks

Ruby Rose may have only scored her first lead acting role in 2019 when she was cast on The CW's Batwoman, but she has been turning heads on the red carpet ever since she transitioned from an Australian model to a MTV VJ in 2007. Prior to her role as the caped crime-fighter, the tattooed green-eyed actress with the ever-artfully tousled black hair was best-known for playing inmate Stella Carlin on Netflix's comedy Orange Is the New Black, as well as appearing in a slew of action films. One of the most versatile fashion chameleons in Hollywood, Rose experimented with both androgynous and more traditionally feminine looks as she made her climb up the ladder to fame. 

Rose once told People of her personal aesthetic, "I have a very eclectic style — for me, it's about how I feel in that moment and what's going to make me comfortable and happy and bring out whatever I'm feeling internally and externally. So [my style] changes a lot, but generally it is on the rocky, androgynous, chic side." Join us as we dive into Ruby Rose's changing looks.

Once upon a time, Ruby Rose had long hair

In 2008, Ruby Rose had not yet made her transition into acting and was still a fresh-faced MTV Australia VJ when she arrived at the 30th Anniversary Golden Stave Rock 'n Roll Musical Extravaganza charity lunch (pictured above) on June 27 in Sydney, Australia. She looked every bit the ingenue wearing her pin-straight hair mid-length and styled with blunt, full-frontal bangs sweeping over her eyebrows.

Rose earned her MTV Australia VJ gig by participating in "a series of challenges" overseen by Jackass star Bam Margera. Her most notable task was an on-air power-drinking stunt. "Drinking 100 shots of beer in 100 minutes, and then vomiting on national television. That really made Mum proud," Rose quipped, per Another part of the proceedings was being asked to kiss random strangers on a crowded street, which Rose called "another thing that my grandma will be impressed with when she watches it." Her bold endeavors paid off, as she beat out 2,000 other potential candidates for the job.

A breakout style for a breakout star

On March 25, 2009, Ruby Rose debuted her signature gender-bending style — an all-black pixie cut with long, asymmetrical side bangs — as she hit the red carpet for the ASTRA Awards' official nominations announcement in Sydney, Australia (pictured above). She wore her trimmed hair with nude gloss on her lips, black-rimmed eyes, and silvery shadow on her lids. True to her avant-garde sartorial spirit, a single black acrylic nail adorned each index finger.

Rose attended the event having scored a nomination in the "Favorite Female Personality" category. One month later at the Seventh Annual ASTRA Awards, she beat out such frontrunners as Antonia Kidman (Nicole Kidman's younger sis) to win. In her emotional acceptance speech, Rose said (via, "This award goes to my mum, she is the shining star more than I will ever be. (And) to all those girls who bullied me in high school, where are you now?" Sounds like justice served to us.

Going platinum did a number on Ruby Rose's hair

At the Chambord Shine Awards 2009 on October 20th in Sydney, Australia, Ruby Rose hit the red carpet (pictured above) ditching her dark locks for short platinum blonde strands. Chicly cinching her little black dress with a purple patent leather belt (and leaving her arms bare to display several of her tattoos), Rose attended the ceremony to honor emerging fashion designers across Australia. In reflecting upon this style with ELLE in 2017, Rose informed that the color was an impulsive change, with her telling her colorist hours before the event that she wanted "platinum blonde hair." Her colorist had rebutted that the process transitioning from black-to-blonde would be slow, but Rose insisted. "I got all chemical burns and terrible fringe," she mused.

Rose later revealed in 2015 that her hasty and constant experimentation with color had severely damaged her hair. "I used to experiment with color a lot more, but once my hair started falling out because I was blonde, black, red, blonde, black, red, repeat, it was like, maybe just stick to cutting it," she told BYRDIE (via Cosmopolitan). Yikes.

Ruby Rose isn't afraid to try wigs

While we are used to seeing Ruby Rose rock her trademark angular bob and androgynous duds on the red carpet, she flirted with a decidedly more feminine side at the 24th Annual ARIA Awards on November 7, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. Wearing a wavy wig and purple smokey eye, Rose completed the more traditionally girly look with a low-cut lace gown boasting a bouquet of sequined floral appliques (pictured above).

Rose told ELLE that this outing's departure from her stylistic norm was an intentional one. "If I didn't want to wear Miu Miu, purple eyeliner and a wig, I wouldn't have done it. But, I really love the idea of shocking people on the carpet at that event. And so I did," she noted. This philosophy seems to fall in line with Rose's outlook on her own gender fluidity, The actress told ELLE in a separate profile, "I have a lot of characteristics that would normally be present in a guy and then less that would be present in a woman. But then sometimes I'll put on a skirt." Rose's willingness to have fun with her gender presentation is one of the reasons she quickly became a sought-after style icon, after all.

An 80s New Wave legend inspired Ruby Rose's look

Ruby Rose showcased her adventures with hair extensions again on the red carpet of the 26th Annual ARIA Awards on November 29, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. Trying out an edgy New Wave-rocker hairdo, Rose had a honey-blonde hairpiece clipped onto the right side of her hair for a long ponytail and had the left side plaited for a decidedly flirty and funky look (pictured above). She told ELLE that it was "meant to be fun," saying of this particular event that "people were dressing in costumes [on the red carpet], not like glamorous outfits."

It is no surprise, really, that Rose dabbled in New Wave chic. According to her interview with BYRDIE in 2015, 1980s New Wave icon Annie Lennox was one of Rose's childhood beauty role models. "I know that growing up, I had a thing for Annie Lennox because of her kind of androgyny, definitely," she noted. Rose admired that Lennox wore minimal makeup, adding, "She always had such chiseled cheekbones, but I didn't have that as much — I just contour." She must have mastered the contouring process because her cheekbones always look razor-sharp to us!

Ruby Rose's misadventures with styling herself

In 2013, Ruby Rose continued her haircolor experimentation when she arrived at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia Trend Show in Sydney, Australia on August 21 with a lavender bob. Rose later disclosed that she had done the dye job herself (pictured above), which would explain the blonde roots peeking through the light purple strands at her hairline. Rose explained her carefree coloring exploits to Byrdie Mag (via Cosmopolitan) in 2015, saying, "With hair, it grows back, and secondly, you can wear wigs if you need to."

Rose also showed off a pair of extremely luscious and well-groomed eyebrows at the fashion show. The actress shared her low-maintenance approach to brow beauty with Coveteur in 2016, having been blessed with naturally full ones since birth. "I don't do much with them. I'll either tint them or I'll just fill them in a little bit," she said. When Rose was younger, she coveted the sparsely groomed eyebrows of the mega-pop stars du jour like Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey. It was her mom, however, who convinced her to model her arches after stars who sported better-defined ones themselves. Rose told the outlet, "My mom tried her best to hide the tweezers — she's like, trust me, you don't want this. Be more like Brooke Shields!" 

Bowling them over

Moe, is that you? No, but Ruby Rose rocked an undeniable Three Stooges vibe on the red carpet at the NYLON Young Hollywood Party in West Hollywood, California on May 7, 2015. Rose had apparently made the dramatic change to her dark tresses on a trip to Singapore with her then-fiancée, Phoebe Dahl, in April that year. "This [haircut] everyone hated," Rose jokingly lamented in an interview with ELLE, adding, "I loved it even more when people hated it."

Rose has always had a free and fearless Devil-may-care attitude to personal style. She told BYRDIE in 2020, "The first time I shaved my head, I was 16. I shaved it myself and ended up with all of these bald patches and whatever, but it was a really freeing experience. I think everyone should do it once — I mean, hair grows back." Amen to that!

Ruby Rose's tattoo tribute to Jean-Michel Basquiat

At the "Orangecon" Fan Event on June 11, 2015 in New York City, Ruby Rose was seen brandishing the latest addition to her ever-expanding collection of tattoos (she had around 60 as of 2015) — a portrait of late graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat on her upper left arm. Rose had previously received a wave of negative feedback from her fanbase in 2013 when she revealed she had tattooed Basquiat's iconic crown logo under her bust line. One Instagram user wrote on Rose's feed of the design, "To me it looks like a random misplaced tat (via The Daily Telegraph)."

The Daily Mail reported that an employee at New York's East Side Ink tattoo parlor where Rose had the body art done, said the Basquiat portrait indeed holds "very personal" meaning to Rose. Speaking with the Los Angeles Times in 2017 of the artist's significance to her, Rose revealed that she had been drawn to his work ever since discovering him through her mom, a fellow artist. "His was a voice for people who didn't have a loud enough voice themselves," Rose said. Her affinity for Basquiat's strong presence of individuality makes sense given her own.

Ruby Rose's co-hosting chic

2015 was a big year for Ruby Rose. She had joined the cast of Orange Is the New Black as the eye-catching inmate Stella Carlin, and Google announced that she was the year's Most Searched Actress. Her professional growth might explain her more matured red carpet look at the 2015 MTV Europe Music Awards on October 25 in Milan, which she co-hosted alongside Ed Sheeran. Topping her short hairdo with twin French Braids, Rose looked like an ultra-glamorous powerhouse in an Armani Prive frock coat worn over tapered high-waisted velvet trousers. She completed the sophisticated ensemble with an understated neutral makeup palette. Rose didn't stick to this outfit for the remainder of the evening, however. As her hosting duties carried on, she would switch in and out of not one but five get-ups.

Rose said of a similar hairstyle she rocked the following year that it was part of her self-proclaimed "braid stage," which made her short hair feel even more practical. She told ELLE, "I was growing my hair out and there really wasn't much [I could do]. I love having my hair off my face. That's why I love short hair."

She experimented with dark lips

Often seen in nude glossy lips, Ruby Rose switched it up at the People's Choice Awards in Los Angeles on January 18, 2017, rocking a dark and matte burgundy lip at the event. The lip color was courtesy of Urban Decay Cosmetics, which was fitting as Rose had been announced as the brand's new spokesperson in March 2016. Her dark pout was achieved with Urban Decay's Vice Liquid Lipstick in Blackmail, which had not been released for mass retail at the time. Rose also wore a Urban Decay lipstick on her eyelids, dabbing them in a shimmery gold shade the label calls Bobby Dazzle. 

Speaking with Refinery29 about her new role with Urban Decay, Rose lauded the iconoclastic beauty brand's encouragement of young women to discover their own inner rebels. "Urban Decay believes in supporting individuality and personal self-expression — two values I hold very dear," she told the outlet, adding, "Because everyone deserves the freedom to explore their personality and discover their true selves."

Stylishly stepping into the spotlight as a leading lady

Ruby Rose's wardrobe became increasingly high-end over the years as her profile in Hollywood grew. In 2019, Rose kicked off a promotional tour for her new role of the titular superheroine on The CW's Batwoman at The CW's Summer 2019 TCA Party in Beverly Hills, California on August 4. At the event (shown above), Rose wore head-to-toe Dior, pairing a chic and comfy-looking checkered turtleneck with a flowing ankle-length mesh skirt. Rose kept her makeup restrained with neatly groomed eyebrows and glossy peach lips.

On her promotional rounds for Batwoman, Rose insisted that while the superhero, a cousin of Bruce Wayne/Batman who takes up the vigilante mantle herself, is a fellow lesbian, her sexuality was the least compelling aspect to her character. "[That's] why this show is so important," Rose told The Washington Post. "People being straight doesn't get that kind of attention. It's the least interesting thing about [Batwoman]." 

Ruby Rose's quarantine hair

Ruby Rose's time at home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic of 2020 may have inspired her to dye her hair again into not one but two summery shades. Rose took to her Instagram on May 1 to show off a buzz cut dyed equal parts neon-pink and electric blue. In a series of slides, her post touted photos of Rose and her new look with two whimsical butterfly clips pinned into her barely-there hair. She also sported a few remaining longer locks, which she wore in a braid. Her accompanying caption read, "What can I say!? Sometimes you just need to feel blue and other times you need pink to lighten your day."

Rose's allusion to her possible varying moods may not just be a nod to the enduring times felt by all during the pandemic. It was announced on May 19, in a surprise to many, that Rose would not return to her starring role on The CW's Batwoman after the series just aired its season one finale two days earlier.