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.


Women’s Herstory!

photography by jonathan clark

{ Wind Worshipers by Jonathan Clark }

I am a terrible feminist.  I went through an entire week of March without realizing it was Women’s History Month!  And how did I find out about it?  Through a disappointing SNL sketch.

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Yayza! Maria Gil Ulldemolins

More embroidery and feminine exploration, you say?  Well, I’m here to deliver.  Maria Gil Ulldemolins‘s cross-stitched barbie is both strange and beautiful… an intriguing contemplation of femininity.  I don’t know about you, but I wanna see more.  Found via Design for Mankind.

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Daily Pretties

Daily Pretties: Warp & Weft

Holy chenille, Batman!  Did you know that February is National Embroidery Month?  I didn’t either, but boy was I delighted when I heard the news.  Now, I know I shouldn’t lump embroidery, sewing, crochet, knitting and weaving all into the same category — they’re distinct crafts, each with their own history and techniques — but… I want to.  Because of the way they make me feel.  When I sew or knit, or cuddle up in our old quilt, or run my fingers over the embroidered flowers on the pillowcases my grandmother made for us, I feel connected to a craft, an under-appreciated art form with a history that spans many centuries and many cultures.  These crafts, however, are traditionally associated with one group of people — women.  Through these skills, I feel pride and strength in the creative powers my sex.

{ Untitled (another winner) from Genadii Berёzkin }

{ Yuki by Jennilee Marigomen }

P.S. Has anyone else been watching the new season of Psych?  Every time I read Genadii Berёzkin I think Ghee Buttersnaps!