Veda leather vest; Agent Provocateur bra; Vein and Baby Alpaca body jewelry.
Ruby Rose is not a household name in America—yet—but in her native Australia, she’s a bona fide It Girl. The 24-year-old model turned TV host first turned heads during MTV Australia’s search for the next big VJ when the competition called for playing the Century Club game (downing 100 shots of beer in 100 minutes) against Bam Margera. It was no easy feat, but she held her own and gamely completed other challenges like taking to the streets of Sydney to lock lips with strangers. Needless to say, she got the job—and the country’s obsession with her only began there. The outspoken, outgoing beauty has also earned respect as one of the few openly gay female celebrities in the country, even being chosen as one of the 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians. As if that’s not cool enough, she’s also covered in ink.
INKED: How many tattoos do you have, and which was your first?
RUBY ROSE: I don’t actually know how many I have. If you counted them individually it would be, like, 30 or something, but some of them are grouped together as one piece. As for my first one, I lived in Germany when I was 16, and I came back home with a tongue ring. My mom was like, “Get that filthy thing out of your mouth.” She said if I got rid of the piercing I could get a tattoo.
What did you get?
It’s a typical tramp stamp, with a rose and an architectural design around it. It’s ridiculous. It’s such a 16-year-old’s tattoo. I would never get that now. But I would never get it removed either. It’s one of my favorites because it was my first.
Did you know it was called a tramp stamp at the time, or was that term coined later?
No! That came out after. I was only 16, and any 16-year-old with a tattoo was, like, the coolest person ever. I was the only person in my whole school with a tattoo, but when I was 18, I saw hundreds of other girls with tattoos in the same spot, and I was like, “Aww, man.”
What else do you have?
Boxing gloves on my shoulder blade [in honor of her godfather, top boxer Lionel Rose], a cross on my arm. … I don’t think when my mom said I could have my first tattoo she anticipated that five years later I’d be completely covered head to toe in ink.
What does Mom think now?
She’s accepted it. And now she has, like, three tattoos. Every woman in my family has a tattoo, but none of the men do. Even my grandma has a small tattoo on her ankle.
Any war stories from the tattoo shop?
I got Meow written inside my lip, and that was the most painful one. It’s so weird, putting a needle right on your face. Clearly I’ll never have cosmetic surgery, because that was scary enough for me. Also, the inside of your arm hurts so much. I know you’re not supposed to, but halfway through getting my sleeve redone, I was like, “Okay, that’s it, I need some whiskey right now! Lots and lots of whiskey!” By the end of it, I was like, “It doesn’t hurt anymore!” But then I tried to stand up and I couldn’t.