Actress Rose McGowan stars in a powerful portrait session captured by fashion photographer and cultural provocateur Rankin for Hunger Magazine. In charge of styling was Scott Robert Clark, with beauty from makeup artist Marco Antonio, and manicurist Jess Thompson. Production by Jordan Rossi. Rose talked exclusively with Hunger Magazine about masculinity, gender, the cult of America, and the power of short hair.
“I think gender is going to keep getting broken down more and more. And we’re going to see older people fighting it more and more. Probably most of the older generation will give up. But I hope, before they give up fighting, they will see that they themselves can be different and no one has to live according to any invisible rules. None of the rules are real – it’s all an illusion. The system is a complete fallacy. We all know it’s built on lies.” – Rose McGowan for Hunger Magazine, on the future of gender.
My heart breaks for boys when I see them being moulded into men. If we could get back to understanding that we’re human before we’re a gender then we could solve a lot of problems. Boys get stolen really early and put in this tight-fitting jacket – ‘here’s what you can be’ and ‘here’s what you are’. They do the same thing to girls, in a totally different way, but for men so much gets repressed so you can be the idea of what a man is supposed to be. How can you not help but have an inner rage?
On the importance of being human…
So much of the dialogue about gender, to me, is missing the human point. The media has pitted us against each other for so long because the media is controlled and dominated by an older set of men.
When I was homeless, I was 13 and I had nobody raising me and I didn’t know how to grow up. So I would imagine the 10% better version of myself and imitate that until it became real. Ask yourself: “In any given situation, what would the better version of myself do?” And then act like that until it becomes second nature.
I know a lot of great men. But I still think, like any great woman, we can all be better. We can still look at other perspectives and different points of view and try to understand ourselves. We should aim to be happy with ourselves instead of buying into the fear paradigm – which is only going to place us at odds with each other.
On the cult of America….
American masculinity is really toxic and really dangerous. It’s dangerous to the world. This idea that America is number one and each man there is number one and superior – that’s a load of bullshit everybody knows it. But they continue with this mass conformity and cult-like way of thinking.
This cult-like way of thinking is exactly like the cult I grew up in. There’s no difference. It’s just on a bigger scale. Especially now with Trump, he repeats the same things – that’s brainwashing. He instils fear of others in people – that’s brainwashing.
When you cross stupidity with fear, that’s a really dangerous mix. I found it really dangerous and hard to adjust to. I don’t think I ever did.
I see the Incel man as being terrified. They’re terrified of change, they’re terrified of others, they’re terrified of losing this idea of superiority. I was at a dinner with my ex-boyfriend, who is black, and a guy at dinner said: “I wish it was the 1950s again”. My ex said: “Only white men say that”. That’s what an Incel is to me. They wish their life was still like that. They didn’t have to be scared then. Without that power structure feeding them every day, they’re taking it upon themselves to feed themselves. Ultimately, why would you want to live a life that angry? Why would you want to live that way?
On the power of short hair…
I always had short hair growing up. Then when I was in Hollywood, they told me I had to have long hair otherwise the men wouldn’t want to fuck me. If they didn’t want to fuck me, they wouldn’t hire me. A woman told me that.
The longer my hair is, the less powerful I feel. The side effect I noticed when I shaved my head is that men could hear the words coming out of my mouth for the first time. They couldn’t hear me before. I had not expected that.
The question she wishes journalists would stop asking her…
The question I always get that’s really stupid is: “Well, how do men know if they’re allowed to flirt anymore?” It makes me want to bang my head against the ground. If you’re not grabbing people against their will, you should be okay. If you’re not punishing them for not going out with you, you should be okay. If you’re not seeking revenge because this girl doesn’t like you, you should be okay. It’s fine to flirt but it’s another thing when someone buys you a drink and thinks they own your hour or that night.
Hunger Magazine – www.hungertv.com
Photographer: Rankin – @rankinarchive
Stylist Scott Robert Clark
Makeup Artist: Marco Antonio
Manicurist: Jess Thompson
Producer: Jordan Rossi
Star Rose McGowan
Stills Assistant: Manny Owusu Afram
Stills Assistant: Ben Duah, Tatjana Galic
Digital Tech Alex Gale