Today I love...

Why I Love Tavi Gevinson

Tavi Gevinson with Rookie Yearbook One

{ photo credit: Jean-Pierre Caner }

What were your biggest concerns as a teenager? Fitting in? Finding yourself? Trying to make sense of the world around you as it expanded beyond you, sometimes painfully, while everything felt so intensely important? Sixteen-year-old Tavi Gevinson is concerned with these things, too—not just for herself but for her following of teenage girls and young women. As the founder and editor of Rookie Magazine, Tavi explores these issues with maturity, feminist principles, and a strong sense of purpose. In her reviews of books, music, movies, and television, she analyzes emotional impact, authenticity, and complexity, sharing what will inspire, inform, and guide readers toward a healthier understanding of themselves and the world.

Tavi knows how a work of art will make readers feel. We will identify with the angst in Heathers, the yearning in The Virgin Suicides, and the “combined relief and excitement” of Etta James’ “At Last!” She understands the power that emotions hold, over teenagers especially, and acknowledges their often-fleeting nature.

Tavi also analyzes authenticity in art, dismissing female stereotypes while praising Joni Mitchell’s honesty about her own weaknesses, as well as Lena Dunham and Mindy Khaling for their sincere, non-clichéd portrayals of imperfect but inspiring women.

Whether celebrating a work for its layers of wit and charm or highlighting a character’s contradictory nature, like the sarcastic but hopeful Mindy, Tavi appreciates complexity. She sees how art can help readers reconcile their own contradictions—listen to Bowie’s Hunky Dory, she says, when you want to “feel like being in love with life without betraying the side of you that sometimes watches Bridezilla just to laugh at how stupid it is.”

Tavi zeroes in on the elements of art—emotional impact, authenticity, and complexity—that allow us to connect, be inspired, and make something of the world and of ourselves. I wish she had been around when I was 16…but at least she’s here for me now.

Daily Pretties

Daily Pretties: Curtained Stare

photography by Alex Howard, Ts-shirts by laura morgan

{ Untitled by Alex Howard }  { Untitled by Laura Morgan }

Speaking of the changes we mentioned yesterday, you may have also noticed a small change to the Westervin content.  With my new full time job (which I’m loving like a squid loves watercolors), I have less time to devote to this here bloggy blog, and the daily posting has gone from three to two.  This hurts me as much as it hurts you, people.  But don’t go blubbering on me — we’re not leaving you!  I’m still just trying to find the balance between work and play.  Before I set a blogging schedule in stone, however, I’d like to hear from you.  That’s right, don’t be shy!  (I know most of you by name.  Don’t make me come after you.)  What types of posts do you most enjoy?  What should I be devoting more time to?  You can see all of our post categories in the drop-down box to the right.  Ideally, I’d like to have at least one post per day that is substantial in both visual and written content, but would you also like me to supplement these posts with one or two purely visual posts?  Gimme some feedback here, babies.  Feed me, Seymour!  Feed me!