Sarah cannot understand just how someone can be so rad.
Tavi Gevinson is like a young athlete competing in the Olympics that you’ll look at and in comparison feel depressingly incompetent. This girl is a force, I tell ya, and one that reeks of Radical Manship. A sixteen year old feminist, pop culture nerd and founder of the wonder that is Rookie, it’s a wonder how she is even real.
At the age of 11, Tavi created a fashion blog named Style Rookie, featuring her unique outfits, along with her refreshing and droll outlook on the times and trends. In spite her age, she wrote with a distinctive sophistication, embracing and displaying her quirky style fearlessly. Soon she had a cult following, and an interview with the New York Times. Tavi was invited to elite events, such as New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week, where she faced the fashion world head on, with her dyed grey hair and notoriously oversized bow. She did a lot of things, like write for Harper’s Baazar, style a shoot for Blackbook magazine, model for Rodarte’s line for Target and design and sell her own T-shirt with Borders&Frontiers.
September 2011 marked the launch of her own online magazine, Rookie, a publication that was aimed at adolescent girls. In the first editor’s letter, Tavi stated that Rookie was not a publication with ” the answers. Rookie is not your guide to Being a Teen. It is not a pamphlet on How to Be a Young Woman.” It was simply smart and honest writing. Unlike mainstream media aimed at teenagers, was not condescending or an overload of advertising. Rookie was just “a place to make the best of the beautiful pain and cringe-worthy awkwardness of being an adolescent girl.”
An article in the Guardian conveyed how adults were stuck by how relatable they found Rookie to be. That’s the thing about it, as Tavi said, perhaps being an adolescent isn’t so different from being an adult. Individuals are constantly evolving throughout their lifetimes rather than just in their childhood.
In 2012, she gave her own legendary TED talk.
The talk she gave was fascinating. If you are not arsed to click play, (WHICH YOU SERIOUSLY SHOULD, BECAUSE TAVI IS AMAZING) she eloquently touches on so many facets of feminism, media and adolescence, all while maintaining an admirable humility. Excellent stuff.
Politically, Tavi has also been a supreme being. Last year, she appeared in a PSA backing Obama, mouthing the words to Lesley Gore’s You Don’t Own Me. Through Rookie, Tavi also organised a get well card drive for Malala Yousafzai.
Perhaps the appeal that we find in Tavi Gevinson is that she represents what girls are capable of. She is something of a revolutionary, in refusing to conform to society’s limits for women and for young people. She has given us that much more, in bounding out towards the unknown. She’s fiercely intelligent, and a legend. She is a ground breaking Radical Man, and for that, we salute her.