Tavi Gevinson

Until I saw a sort of offhand reference – as if the reader would obviously know who she is – to Tavi Gevinson, I had never heard of her. I don’t know how I missed her as she is about as famous in her world as Fernando Alonso is in his. On the outside chance that there is atleast one other  person who hasn’t heard of Tavi, she is a sixteen year old fashion blogger. The astonishing part, however, is that she started when she was eleven – she was born in 1996 – and was famous enough by the time she was 15 to interview Joss Whedon for her blog ( The Style Rookie).

By the time she was 13, Gevinson was a special guest of Vogue Magazine at the New York Fashion Week. By the time she was 15, Gevinson founded Rookie Magazine which bills itself as a website for teenage girls with advice like How to Decorate Your Room like a Movie, or Ask a Grown Man:Jon Hamm, or Breaking in a Broken Heart : How to draw power from a truly crappy experience. Looking at Rookie Magazine started out as surprising and slowly became an amazing experience. Everything I have read about teenage  girls is written by someone who was a teenager years before and is – sort of – remembering their teenage years from an older perspective, this is written – or edited – by an actual teenage girl and it is so much more sophisticated.

In Breaking in a Broken Heart, Rookie says Develop compassion. Now you know what it feels like to feel like garbage. So you can recognize that feeling in others, and empathize. It strangely becomes a healing experience for both people when this happens. You get over your heartbreak even more, and so do they….Discover that you are loved. Go ahead and try to reject this because it sounds corny and you don’t like feelings. I’m sorry, it’s just the objective truth of the matter. When you understand that you are loved, that there are, really, people who love you, that you DESERVE their love, and that you really do have huge, undying support in this world, from your friends and/or family and/or pets and/or God if you believe in that, the love that you lost begins to feel smaller in comparison.

In talking about Loosing It, Rookie says To avoid having to answer a million questions, I prefer to regard “losing your virginity” as a choose-your-own-adventure. Oral, anal, vaginal, manual, sex toy, something else? YOU PICK! When it comes to identifying as a virgin, only you can decide what “counts.” Maybe you “lost your virginity” the first time you gave oral to your girlfriend. Maybe you it was the first time your boyfriend fingered you. Maybe it was your first-time P in V. There is no wrong way to decide when you’ve lost your virginity. It is an intangible characteristic that only you get to choose whether or not you identify with…That said, maybe you think the whole concept of virginity is stupid. Who’s to say that you ever had one in the first place? Who’s to say that you lost anything when you had sex for the first time? I prefer to think of first-time sexual encounters as gaining a new experience, not losing something. Instead of thinking of things in terms of virginity, feel free to tell someone that you gave oral sex for the first time, or that you haven’t tried vaginal intercourse yet. There is no wrong way to talk about first-time sexual encounters, and anyone who tells you otherwise is likely just as clueless as the rest of us.

I sometimes have a feeling that the next generation will not be able to handle the trashed world we are leaving them. While it is true that we are leaving them a country in which the average kid will not be able to live the same lifestyle as their parents – lifestyle usually being defined as having as much stuff and using as much energy – and we are leaving them a world in which our leaders refuse to even admit that the climate is changing, and we are leaving them a future world in which we did pretty much everything I was taught to believe was responsible for the fall of Rome, this, next, generation just seems better. More capable of looking at real problems.

Reading Rookie, and reading about Tavi Gevison or listening to her TED talk – yes! at something like sixteen – is a hugely reaffirming experience. Check it out, I suspect you will be shocked and thrilled as much as me.

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