The entertainment industry often witnesses subtle yet profound tributes by stars to their personal heroes. Mariska Hargitay, widely recognised for her role on Law & Order: SVU, recently honoured her late mother with a poignant fashion statement that carries a weight of emotional significance. In her latest appearance, the actress was seen with a black ribbon in her hair, a detail that goes beyond aesthetics and taps into a deep familial connection.
Jayne Mansfield, a Hollywood star renowned for her glamour in the 1950s and 1960s, met a tragic fate in a car accident at the young age of 34. Her legacy in the film industry is not solely based on her acting abilities and striking looks but also her distinctive sense of style, which often included bows in her hair.
During her visit to the Today show, Hargitay, at 59 years of age, chose to wear a black ribbon in her curled half-up hairstyle, complimenting her tuxedo-inspired ensemble. This accessory choice reflects a current trend seen across social platforms like TikTok, where the coquette and balletcore styles are being revived. However, for Hargitay, the ribbon is a deeply personal homage to her mother, Jayne Mansfield.
The Law & Order: SVU star, while on Today, shared a touching story of coming across a photograph of her mother as an 8-year-old girl, complete with bows in her pigtails. The photograph clearly moved Hargitay, who took inspiration from the image, saying, “Look at her bows! And it just undid me, this photo of this little precious girl. You are my inspiration.”
Further cementing the significance of her fashion choice, Hargitay also praised her cohost, Savannah Guthrie, for sporting a similar ribbon in her hair. The pair lightheartedly coaxed their fellow host Hoda Kotb to join in the style, with Hargitay encouraging a message of self-expression: “You don’t put yourself in a box. You wear a bow and you rock it, baby.”
Beyond style tributes, Hargitay has publicly confronted personal hardships. In an intimate People cover story, she bravely disclosed a past rape incident that occurred in her thirties. Hargitay described the assault as an act of power and control, providing insight into the profound challenges she has overcome and her remarkable fortitude.
Speaking candidly about her coping mechanisms, Hargitay shared her approach to dealing with the loss of her mother, stating, “The way I’ve lived with loss is to lean into it. I’m not saying it’s easy, and it certainly hasn’t been for me. There’s been a lot of darkness. But on the other side, things can be so bright.”
This narrative of resilience is a thread that runs through Hargitay’s life, as she draws strength from her mother’s memory. Through fashion choices like the black ribbon, she continues to honour Mansfield’s enduring influence. Hargitay’s candidness about her own experiences with trauma also highlights her dedication to advocating for sexual assault survivors and the necessity of giving them a voice. Her actions exemplify a commitment to not only preserve her mother’s memory but also to inspire and empower others through her personal narrative of survival and triumph.