Tavi Gevinson, editor-in-chief of Rookie magazine, is one of my biggest inspirations. No, really. I can’t believe that she’s the same age as me and I’d do anything to be part of her girl gang (along with Amandla Stenberg and Kiernan Shipka). One of the hallmarks of her magazine is the friend crush, a monthly section that is meant to spotlight girls who love and support each other. Though Tavi has no idea who I am, this is basically my friend crush blogpost about her (I actually nominated my best friend Jennifer for the Friend Crush section and we were featured last year!
So what is Rookie, and who is Tavi, and why are they both so great? Rookie’s “About” page states that Rookie is:
“an independently run online magazine and book series founded in 2011 by Editor-in-Chief Tavi Gevinson. We publish writing, photography, and other forms of artwork by and for teenagers (and their cohorts of any age!).”
Rookie is also an online (and in-print) community. It has one of the most vibrant comments sections of any of its peer magazines, probably because the articles are so real (read: the Dear Diary series, where girls talk really candidly about their lives; I remember one entry that really stuck out to me about a girl who just started college and she’s feeling importer syndrome, something I struggled with a lot freshman year when I felt like I didn’t belong at Harvard). What I think sticks out about Rookie is that no other magazine aimed at teens is similarly written by teens themselves (I’m looking at TeenVogue and Seventeen, which may have teen correspondents but most of their articles are written by adults).
The magazine that Tavi has spearheaded not only celebrates teen girls, but also girls of all different body types, sexualities, and races. It also speaks about mental health and feminism in a way that is understandable by the audience. It’s basically everything that I dreamed of but didn’t have as a preteen.
Tavi, before her vision for Rookie, was just a ridiculously cool kid. Instead of playing Neopets like most of my friends and I did at the same age, she created a wildly popular fashion blog (StyleRookie) when she was 11. Besides her literary success, she’s also an actress: last year, she starred in This is Our Youth with Michael Cera in New York.
Case in short, she’s just a ridiculously cool and talented human being and I’d be her friend and help empower teens with feminist content any day. (If you want to learn more about her, watch her Ted Talk here).