How Ruby Rose Is Changing What It Means To Be 'Cool' In America
This morning, I was grazing the great expanse of the internet looking for some good ol' fashioned ~inspiration~ when I came across the story about the Chloë Grace Moretz and Khloé Kardashian Twitter feud.
The 19-year-old actress Chloë articulately tweeted her teenage thoughts and feelings about the T. Swift/Kanye West squabble:
Everyone in this industry needs to get their heads out of a hole and look around to realize what's ACTUALLY happening in the REAL world
Finishing off with a very wise,
Stop wasting your voice on something so petulant and unimportant.
Our young girl had a valid point. I mean, honestly, I'm sick of giving men who minimize women by calling them hateful names like "bitch" my precious clicks, too. With all the shit going on in this cruel, cold world, Moretz was suggesting we focus our energy on other things.
But of course, hell hath no fury like a Kardashian scorned. And Khloé K was quick to come back with a pretty viscous rapid fire response, one that made me feel like a disgusting human being for even bearing visual witness (and they say us gays are tarnishing the purity of the world. Le sigh).
"Is this the a hole, you're referring too?" the 32-year old reality star recklessly tweeted into the Twittersphere, including a picture of what she thought was Moretz's exposed bum (a very exploitive picture that I don't feel comfortable posting here).
Just as I was about to vomit the contents of my $9.00 green juice into the trash after seeing that god awful pic of a 19-year-old's body exploited by a 32-year-old woman, the lesbian angel herself Ruby Rose swooped in and saved the day. The 30-year-old tattoo-adorned, gay goddess quickly came to Moretz's defense by tweeting:
Yo Khloe I thought you were rad when I met you but this is awful and this is a 19 year old girl
Oh yes! She made all of us queer babes look good by sticking up for the young celeb, using CLASS as her weapon. Most celebrities are afraid to stand up to a Kardashian, but bold Ruby went right in for the kill and said what the rest of us were thinking.
Never mind that the picture Khloé tweeted wasn't even of Moretz's backside (just some poor random lookalike), but can we please discuss how low it is to put a picture of a teenage girl exposed on Twitter?! Is that how we deal with adversity, kittens? Khloé, with her 21.2 million Twitter followers, totally showed her impressionable, YOUNG fan base that it's OK to humiliate another girl by tweeting an embarrassing picture of her naked body.
And just when I began to weep for our youth, Ruby Rose stood up against the Kardashian bullying epidemic (It's really not a good week for the Kardashians. Picking on girls younger than you is never a good look, ladies).
Suddenly, my freshly blow-dried head began to really think about Ruby Rose and how cool she is on the real. It seems like every single day, Ruby's face invades my internet newsfeed, and not just on the slew of gay media sites that I religiously follow like some people follow our homeboy Jesus. In fact, rarely does she penetrate the gay news scene (she's, like, three seasons ago in queer world). However, girl is all over that mainstream pop culture scene. She's a "popular" girl.
And. How. Cool. Is. That?
Close your pretty eyes and think about it, sweet kittens. When was the last time an openly queer girl with cropped hair and a full sleeve of expressive tattoos was an international sex symbol, wildly coveted by both men and women who land all across the spectrum of sexuality?
As I took a drag of my proverbial cigarette (I don't smoke, but I'm trying to paint a picture) and gazed soulfully into the distance, all I could think about was: I've never seen a girl like Ruby ooze seamlessly into mainstream culture in my lifetime. I can't imagine how gorgeously empowering it must be for all the kids in America who are queer or a little different -- maybe a little more alt than the popular group in high school, maybe a little more rough around the edges than the class president -- to see a boundary-breaking beauty like Ruby regularly grace the cover of magazines.
When I was a gawky, pimply girl creature battling through adolescence, the only people who were big in the media were sugar pop princesses who were a size 2 and had pale blonde hair and a baby face. It was the early 2000s. Most of the female pop stars spoke earnestly about saving their virginity for marriage.
As a closeted gay with a love of black leather, I couldn't relate. I felt like a freak for most of my life. I truly can't imagine a fierce, unique force of nature like Ruby Rose breaking all the rules and still breaking through the fame game. Maybe, if I'd had someone like her to look up to, I wouldn't have wasted so much time locked in the closet. Maybe I wouldn't have hated myself so much. Maybe I wouldn't have been so ashamed to be different.
Some people on social media like to give Ruby a hard time for being part of Taylor Swift's #girlsquad, but I think it's totally rad that she's part of it. She's showing that yes, you can be totally queer, totally in love with your girlfriend and still be accepted by the It Girl queen of pop culture.
Taylor Swift has 85.9 million followers on Instagram. That's an incredible reach. For Ruby to be openly affectionate with her girlfriend on a social media account that huge is radical and awesome. And Ruby's continuous display of her romance with girlfriend Harley Gusman on her own social media shows young people everywhere that there's nothing to be ashamed about when it comes to your sexuality.
In a pop culture made venomous by nasty comments from mean socialites, Ruby Rose is the anti-bully who is changing the face of what it means to be "cool" and "popular" in this country. She shows us that, yeah, you can be your authentic, badass self and still be a successful model, DJ and actress. She shows us that you can be kind and still fit in. You don't have to join the mean girl conversation. In fact, fuck those mean girls. Ruby has consistently used her voice to stand up to bullies.
She also shows us that you don't have to be Beverly Hills born and bred, straight as an arrow, traditionally beautiful and MEAN AF to be deemed a cool girl. Nah, you can hang out with Swift on July 4th while clutching your girlfriend and showing off your fierce short haircut.
Never, ever, ever minimize the unbelievable social power that pop stars have over our youth. Their influence and their voices are far more powerful to teenagers than any teachers, politicians or parents, for better or for worse. In Ruby's case, it's definitely for better.