Ruby Rose, an Australian actress and model best known for her performance in the Netflix Original, Orange is the New Black, wrote, produced and stars in this 2014 video, “Break Free.” In the video, Ruby is seen walking into a bathroom donning blonde hair and a tight dress. Throughout the course of the video, she is seen shaving her head and wiping off makeup that covers her tattoos. She then begins to bind her chest, shave her head, and put on “men’s” clothing. The video received wide praise from viewers, with comments supporting her overall message to online discussion of sexuality and gender roles.
What are some of the markers of Ruby Rose’s femininity at the beginning of the video?
What transformation does she undergo throughout the video? Is the transformation purely aesthetic, or does her attitude change as well?
What messages about femininity, masculinity, and gender are encoded in this video?
How does this video challenge conventional ideas of gender roles?