Tavi Gevinson, came to the public eye initially as a fashion blogger with “Style Rookie” (http://www.thestylerookie.com/) when she was just twelve years old and quickly became very popular with her unique style and her whimsical photographs. Now seventeen, a working girl and wise beyond her years, she has been focusing on an online magazine designed for teenaged girls called “Rookie Mag.” (http://rookiemag.com/)
However, she has done much more than just sharing her sense of style, and Rookie Mag is not your average teenager magazine. What is special about her and her works in is that they are not a roundup of the typical superficial articles such as “10 Ways to Get Thinner” or “How to Get Boys To Like You.” Instead, she produced a creative environment to let her audience explore, contribute and most importantly, think. She says that the magazine is not designed to give directions or answers to girls, but rather to make them recognize their power to ask questions and give answers themselves.
This is where feminism comes in. As a proud feminist, Gevinson encourages girls to think about feminism and its meanings, and tear away the stereotypes that may have been associated with the concept. She gives a speech for TEDxTeens called “Still Figuring It Out” where she addresses this concept and her goals regarding it. She says:
I wanted to start a website for teenaged girls that was not kind of this one-dimensional strong character empowerment thing, because one thing that can be very alienating about a misconception of feminism in that girls then think that to be feminists they have to live up to being perfectly consistent in their beliefs, never being insecure, never having doubts, having all the answers. . .
In her speech, she further discusses the idea of what makes powerful female characters and describes feminism as “not a rulebook but a discussion, a conversation, a process.” Addressing the misconceptions that have been implemented in our brains since childhood, such as “smart and pretty” or “feminist and interested in fashion” being considered as contradictions, she displays her understanding of the corrupt ideas about women and particularly, feminists.
Bringing a healthier image of girls to the table than any popular teenage magazine (such as Seventeen) have ever achieved, the message that Tavi Gevinson is sending to the world is not one to be dismissed. Rather than enforcing the unattainable idea of perfection, she merely says that flaws are okay, even great. This is a kind of notion that should rise above the ever-degrading nature of today’s generic media amongst young girls. I truly hope to see Tavi Gevinson become even more recognized as an icon, and continue her efforts to help girls develop their own voice without fear of judgment while gaining an accurate idea of what feminism is actually truly about.
(Everything Tavi Gevinson said that are mentioned in this post can be found in her full speech at: http://www.ted.com/talks/tavi_gevinson_a_teen_just_trying_to_figure_it_out.html )