Was the 90's Twiggy Ramirez look copied from Jessicka?
Now, let's get to the main issue. Obviously there are similarities between Jeordie's 90's Twiggy Ramirez looks and the 90's Jessicka Addams looks. It would be a total lie not to admit this. But let's look at the details and the influences behind these looks.
As already said on the Kinderwhore page, this combination of messy hair and makeup, vintage dresses, tights and boots was not original to either of them as it already existed at the time and even had a name. It was worn by many other artists at the time. This already is a big point and raises the question; how do you steal something from someone who didn't originate it in the first place?
It was described as "a strong feminist statement...about so much more than a little velvet dress, ripped tights and a dumb media-made label. It was about intentionally taking the most constraining parts of the feminine, good-girl aesthetic, inflating them to a cartoon level, and subverting them to kill any ingrained insecurities."It has been noted that although the look was very feminine, when its exponents performed onstage they "stood tall and confident, they threw their guitars around like weapons, and screamed out whip-smart feminist lyrics. These women were questioning the cultural importance of typical beauty through costume and the stage."
So, to put it shortly, it was a play of opposites, combining the "good girl" things that are expected from women with the things that are seen as unexpected of frowned upon for a woman to do; anger, strong opinions, etc. It was a very "good vs bad" or "soft vs hard" setting.
Now, if we look at the message behind Jessicka's persona (also discussed on the lyrics page) it sounds very similar.
The songs on Sexless Demons and Scars are unsettling. Jessicka's voice bounces between sweet innocence and manic screams, reflecting the conflict between expectations and less-than-perfect reality. "I didn't get to have as much of a childhood as I would have wanted," Jessicka says by way of explanation. "I think that reflects in our music. Wanting to be a good kid, but not being able to accomplish it. You have the little girl wearing the pink dress but spilling mud all over it by the time the song is over. My vocals start off innocent and then I trip myself up to go into a rage. It's not always an angry rage. Sometimes the rage is just frustration."
"I think there was a point in time where I wasn't allowed to be a child," says vocalist/lyrical diva Jessicka. "And that's why I can play it out more now. Terror always builds better girls… the better girls have been through it all," she says.
Seconds: A lot of your images deal with the blending of innocence and decadence, purity and filth.
Jessicka: That the way I live my life. I act and think like a child but I have the heart of a demon in which lust and decadence swell and dance around. I open up a book and see it with a child's eyes but with the devil's mind.
It is said that most of Twiggy's signature grade school ghoulie, dead girl, kinder goth look was taken from her
This seems very typical Kinderwhore, the play of the opposites, good girl vs. bad girl. The idea isn't original to Jessicka. Behind her look seemed to be childhood trauma, that this raging, shocking Riot Goth vocalist is putting on the dress to simultaneously get to be a child but to also say the things she didn't get to say as a child. Simply, the good girl clothes combined with the "evil" shock rock acts like self mutilation on stage and dark makeup. Very "The Exorcist" sort of an idea.
It's just a darker take on Kinderwhore, and that's not to say it's not a good idea, it really worked.
In Jack Off Jill's shirts, there was a little girl with words like bitch, cunt, fuck, around it and in the early promos there were toys and dolls, sometimes with their faces smudged with markers. This again brought in the "childhood ruined" idea.
At the same time, in the same scene, Marilyn Manson was playing around with the opposites too. Good and evil. Marilyn Manson as a name itself is a very similar thing, Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson. It's symbolic of how serial killers become media sensations just like celebrities and fear and death sell just as well as glamour. They're not talking about the same thing at all, but they're in the same scene, doing a similar idea; good vs evil. So this could already be a source for comparisons.
But let's look at the idea & influences behind the Twiggy Ramirez look.
"It is said that most of Twiggy's signature grade school ghoulie, dead girl, kinder goth look was taken from her"
This is where it really shows that Jessicka's emotions affect the way she sees this situation. Because while the styles were similar, the idea was not. Jeordie's 90's look was not about dressing up as a girl, it was not about a being a bad child, "grade school ghoulie." Many seem to understand that he was doing drag or "crossdressing" but it doesn't seem like that was the intention at all. It was androgyny.
P: Speaking of fans, I brought some of the mail we've been getting, regarding you guys, and I can't tell you how many people are picking you for Best Female Performer.
TR: Did I win!?
P: The Reader's Choice Poll just started, but it looks like you'll give Sean (Yseult, White Zombie) a run for her money! How do you feel about being in the running for Best Female Performer?
TR: I think I got my first erection when I was wearing my mother's underpants growing up. It's just a side of me that I feel comfortable with, and other people seem to feel comfortable with as well. I want to continue to try and break the barrier between male and female. I'm obviously not a hermaphrodite, but people seem to think so. There's an area between the two sexes. You don't have to be heterosexual, bisexual, or gay. It's just sort of everything.
I think all of the really major sex symbols of the Twentieth Century have had some degree of androgyny, like Randolf Valentino, Elvis Presley, when The Beatles first came out; I can go on and on. What is it that you think attracts women to androgyny? I mean, you're the most androgynous member of Marilyn Manson and you're certainly a ladies' man.
I like to look at it more as: it's not just looking like a woman, but not really being any sexes. I would say Asexual, but doesn't that mean you don't have sex?
I was going to say you're not Asexual, by any stretch of the imagination. Did you ever see this fashion thing that Rudy Gernreich did in the Sixties where he brought out the unisex look? It was men and women wearing these futuristic, Science Fiction-looking outfits that were kind of sexless. They all had their eyebrows shaved.
That was the word I was looking for: sexless. Not asexual. I'm not sexless but that's the word I was looking for to describe myself as for as the look goes.
I wondered if it was something you guys were drawn to naturally or if you'd consciously thought that all big acts that really, really made it, like Mick Jagger, all these people had this sexual ambiguity about them. It's powerful to the audience.
It really just happened. It's not like I planned out to dress like a girl to be famous or anything. Speaking for myself and people that I know, who when they were young had the curiosity of trying on their mom's underpants and for some strange reason you realized you got an erection. I think that was one of the first erections I got, when I tried my mom's underpants on.
As far as my personal background, when I was very young my mother always kept my hair long. Everyone would come up and question if I was a boy or a girl all the time, because I've had long hair my whole life, basically. I went home from school one day complaining to my stepfather and he was just like, 'Well, take your pants down and show them your dick'.
He was kidding. But the next day I was getting teased and I pulled out my dick and I got to stay out of school for a week. That was fourth grade or something like that. It started at an early age. I feel comfortable. It comes natural to me.
So, sounds like Marilyn Manson was a chance for Jeordie to experiment with androgyny, not necessarily to "dress up like a little girl."
But at the time of joining Marilyn Manson, Jeordie was dating Jessicka Addams, so maybe he really did copy her? Just wanted to be androgynous and started dressing like Jessicka?
Could be that some influence really was taken, as according to Michelle Inhell from Jack Off Jill, the styles and ideas of Jack Off Jill and Marilyn Manson were developed side by side as the band members were friends and had practice rooms close to each other.
It's interesting how in Jessicka's version of this story, there are no other influences to Jeordie's style besides her and Gidget Gein. She has always maintained that Jeordie wore her clothes, copied the style from her, and in 2015 she said he specifically stole the green dress from her.
In the 2017 statement the following part is interesting:
"Brad was replaced by Jeordie White, who Manson renamed Twiggy Ramirez."
Why is it interesting? -Because it's not true! And this is a pretty clever trick. Jessicka implies that there was no thought behind the name Twiggy and it was just given to him, just like everything else about the Twiggy Ramirez "character" that in her opinion was stolen. She distances Jeordie from the name Twiggy so the reader doesn't make the connection between Jeordie's look and the 60's model Twiggy. If you thought he didn't think of the name himself, a lot of important things would be left unnoticed. But he did choose it himself in the style of Marilyn Manson.
Jeordie has talked about the name choice in interviews:
GW: And when did you become Twiggy Ramirez?
Ramirez: When I joined the band. I liked Richard Ramirez because he was into heavy metal music. And I chose Twiggy (after the Sixties fashion model) because she was androgynous. She liked to dress like a little boy.
Guitar World: Did you choose that name out of anything like genuine admiration for her?
Twiggy Ramirez: I have a lot of English family and it was just something I grew up with. I always saw her image. There was the Beatles and there was Twiggy. She was one of the first people who actually sold product just by being a personage, you know? So she's actually one of the first icons of modern times. Plus, she was skinny. I was always kind of called Twig anyway, because of my body structure.
Another influence, according to Jeordie in an episode of Hour Of Goon, was Carol Channing, who inspired the wig and glasses look Jeordie used to wear.
On a different episode of Hour Of Goon, Jeordie talked about how his aunt introduced him to a lot of music and was a huge fan of the Bee Gees, following them around on tour a lot, hanging out with the band (I got the impression she even dated Robin Gibb but am not exactly sure, have to check that but it's kinda irrelevant tbh, could also be just that she was a groupie) and told stories about the band to him and the stories about Robin Gibb ended up inspiring Twiggy Ramirez:
"The stories that I heard about him, I've kind of, this is gonna sound weird... Partially helped inspire the Twiggy character. I hate saying "Twiggy character" but whatever. But the stories that I heard about him, he was a wild man. Very sexual man. Androgynous man. "
Other influences mentioned in this episode of the Hour Of Goon podcast were musicians Brian Eno and Peter Gabriel.
Then there's Robin Finck. Robin Finck joined Nine Inch Nails around the same time as Jeordie joined Marilyn Manson. They met each other on the 1994 Self Destruct tour as Marilyn Manson opened for NIN on that tour. Jeordie and Robin became close friends. Jeordie has mentioned this at least in Seconds, 1998 and Vice, 2017
It seems that Nine Inch Nails' stage looks in general influenced Marilyn Manson, but Jeordie and Robin looked so similar that to this day I see pictures of Robin tagged as #twiggyramirez on social media. Could it just be that Jeordie got the idea for his black dreadlocks from Robin Finck? Did they try out looks together? They did come along during this tour and NOT immediately after joining Manson. Jeordie also had shaved the sides of his head, similar to Robin and his early makeup looks were closer to Robin Finck than Jessicka.
One more thing is that Jeordie has an interest to Hinduism. He's stated that he's not particularly associated with any religion, but hinduism seems to at least inspire him. Can't say for sure if he considers himself "spiritual" and just takes influences from different religions or if he's just interested in hinduism and the culture around it, but well. He has the Om tattooed on him, also texts in sanskrit, he even introduced his spiritual advisor in MTV Cribs. For a very avid Star Wars fan who also, according to himself, grew up around hippies, an interest in hinduism would not be a surprise. The idea of The Force, the Jedi philosophy and the Star Wars lore in general has been influenced by eastern religions, a lot of hindu concepts can be recognized in there.
What does this have to do with anything, you may ask? Well... There are certains kinds of face paints and also dreadlocks that the "Holy men" aka Sadhus wear, that will look very familiar to a fan of Twiggy Ramirez... Painting the whole forehead with one color or drawing a line down the middle? Some of Jeordie's face paints from the 90's do resemble the tilaka forehead markings. Colorful dots on the face? Accompanied by long dreadlocks? Hmm... I mean this could just be a fan theory, haven't seen him ever particularly mention this anywhere, but thought I'd point this observation out.
So, let's look at some photos: Twiggy,
And we've got Carol Channing:
And here's Twiggy Ramirez in Phil Donahue show, 1995. Probably his most memorable TV appearance ever:
Twiggy is a very obvious source of inspiration for this look, and others too.
White button up shirt with a red tie, accompanied with these overdrawn lower lashes?
It's pretty obvious where he copied stuff from if he copied anything. Twiggy is printed on Jeordie's guitar picks, she's his Twitter banner etc.
The "Twiggy lashes" were a thing he did in the early looks, and then they evolved to all kinds of stripes and tears from there in different looks.
Then there's Peter Gabriel in the 70's with his weird hairlines and heavy makeup, this seems to have inspired the Antichrist Superstar era looks Jeordie did (second pic), at least the hair, as admitted by him in an instagram post.
Brian Eno, this seems very similar to the Mechanical Animals era looks of Jeordie. In the music video fro The Dope Show for example, Jeordie is wearing a similiar makeup look as in this picture and also seems to be wearing some sort of black feathers on his shoulders. High hairline too. Included a shitty screenshot in case you won't bother to watch the music video.
Robin Finck. Do I need to add a comparison photo? Just put a green dress on this guy, you get Twiggy Ramirez basically.
Jeordie painting his forehead similarly, Long Hard Road Out Of Hell music video, red forehead. 90's facepaints in general. The makeup in the signed photo brings to mind the Tilaka forehead marking (an U or V shaped line down the forehead) but also it looks like something out of Star Wars too lol
Think that's very simply explained right there, but we can look into more details to disprove this "He stole my character" claim even further. Because the more you look into it, the less you'll believe it.
And since her claim is "He raped me and stole my look," if 50% of that is already a lie, what is the rest of it then? Note that she has been going on about this "stolen look" for longer than I have been alive, and the rape claim came along 5 years ago, what does it really look like? Or, what if the "rape" was actually just another way to express the "he stole my ideas" claim, after all? Read about it on the Storytelling page.