As a teenage writer extraordinaire and queen of girlhood, Tavi Gevinson‘s prominence began three years ago when she exploded from kid blogger to fashion’s chosen child star. With her light blue hair and oversized glasses, Tavis’s musings on designers and self-styled outfits landed her on the front row of fashion weeks around the wrold. But as she grew up from 13 year old wonder child to full fledge teenager, her work expanded to include feminism and writing, along with an impeccable vintage style.
Last year she founded Rookie Mag, an online magazine tailored for young girls (and really, women of all ages), that along with covering the expected purview of fashion, music, and television, also offers insightful advice on tackling life as an independently minded soon-to-be woman. In a recent interview with Bust Magazine, Tavi said that her inspiration for Rookie came from the lack of feminist writing being tailored towards young girls. “I was so used to reading feminist blogs and feeling like they were very much for women who already knew they were feminists. I was thinking, Well, how do you get to that point?” The magazine, which has developed a cult-like status amongst young fashionistas throughout the country, features articles that talk about issues like girl hate, body image, sexual harassment,the male gaze, feminist activists, and SlutWalk. In her TED talk, “Still Figuring It Out,” Tavi, wise beyond her years, says,
“One thing that can be very alienating about a misconception of feminism is that girls then think that to be feminists they have to live up to being perfectly consistent in their beliefs, never being insecure, never having doubts, having all the answers. . . and this is not true and actually recognizing all the contradictions I was feeling became easier once I realized that feminism was not a rulebook but a discussion, a conversation, a process.”
This quote got me asking how the process of growing up, how the precious stages of girlhood get tangled up with feminism, and more importantly, what happens when young women begin to untangle the questions that feminism poses within their own lives and artistic practices? The answers to these questions can be astounding as they are sometimes disturbed, as confused as they are enlightened, and much like Tavi, fiercely empowered.
-Ana Alvarez, Managing Editor