Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a cultural icon, from fashion choices to portrayals on the big screen
Court observers say not having Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg in court for any length of time could prove problematic
Dubbed the “Notorious RBG” by admirers, Ginsburg, 85, isn’t slowing down – even despite recent health issues.
And her fans, too, don’t appear to be abating their adoration of the justice. She’s the subject of the new film “On the Basis of Sex,” her likeness adorns T-shirts and she’s been turned into a detailed action figurine. There's also a Tumblr account dedicated to all things Ginsburg.
From her judicial and fashion statements to her portrayal in pop culture, here’s a look at how Ginsburg has become an icon throughout the years.
The big screen
Released on Christmas in 2018, “On the Basis of Sex” showcases Ginsburg’s studies and earlier legal work. She’s portrayed by actress Felicity Jones as the biopic moves from Ginsburg’s drive through law school, dedication to her husband and demand for equal rights for women.
The movie was written by Daniel Stiepleman, Ginsburg’s nephew. The Supreme Court justice was involved in the drafting of the script and even made a cameo in the film’s end.
Ginsburg has reportedly already seen the movie multiple times and said she was “proud” of how it turned out.
Earlier in 2018, the “RBG” documentary, chronicling her venerable career, was released after being shown at the Sundance Film Festival.
Ginsburg has found ways to dress up the classic black judicial robe – with bold jabots collected from all over the world.
Aside from fashion, her neckwear tends to have some meaning behind it. Dubbed her “dissenting collar,” Ginsburg has picked a black jabot for when she’s in disagreement over an opinion, saying “it looks fitting for dissents.”
A yellow crotchet collar is the one she wears when she announces a majority opinion for the Supreme Court, she told Katie Couric. And her favorite is a white lace jabot from South Africa.
Her colorful collars have inspired lookalikes sold online. They also adorn T-shirts, mugs and baby onesies. Banana Republic is re-releasing the famous dissent necklace in January with a portion of the proceeds going toward the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, which Ginsburg founded.
Aside from her collars, Ginsburg is also known for wearing gloves, Ferragamo shoes and scrunchies.
Although she said it makes her “distressed,” admirers have also gotten Ginsburg’s face tattooed on their bodies. Attorney Amy Wallace had Ginsburg’s likeness – with a Rosie the Riveter approach – tattooed on her arm.
“Justice Ginsburg is my only personal hero, and as an atheist, my adoration of her is the closest thing I get to personal worship,” she told Refinery29 of the tattoo. “The secular iconography of Rosie the Riveter mashed up with Justice Ginsburg seemed like a perfect articulation of the way I feel about her.”
And then there’s a Planned Parenthood volunteer in Salt Lake City who has a younger version of the Supreme Court justice tattooed on her arm, along with the words “I dissent” and a Florida college student who has Ginsburg wearing a crown and holding a glass of red wine on her body.
"Saturday Night Live" actor Pete Davidson also has a tattoo of the justice.
Ginsburg told MSNBC’s Irin Carmon the tattoos made her “distressed” because of their permanence, although she added the gesture is a “nice sentiment.”
“Why would you make something that can’t be removed on yourself? I mean, it’s one thing to make holes that you can use or not. My granddaughter for a while was wearing a nose ring. Now she’s not anymore. But a tattoo you can’t remove,” Ginsburg said.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg often works out -- and her routine isn't easy. (Magnolia Pictures via AP)
Ginsburg fans can throw on a “Super Diva” sweatshirt and workout just like the justice. Since 1999, Ginsburg has trained with Bryant Johnson a few times a week, focusing on strength and bone density.
Multiple people have tried her workout routine and have delivered the same verdict: it’s no easy feat.
"Saturday Night Live"
“Saturday Night Live” star Kate McKinnon has often transformed into Ginsburg, including in a recent sketch with a rap about the Supreme Court justice. McKinnon has also given Ginsburg a catchphrase: “Gins-burn.”
Ginsburg has said she “likes the actress who portrays me,” adding she “would like to say ‘Gins-burned’ sometimes to my colleagues.”
Fox News' Bill Mears contributed to this report.