Feminist It Girl: Tavi Gevison

Tavi Geveinson, image from tylelikeu.com/profiles-2/closets/tavi-gevinson

Tavi Gevinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of Rookie an online publication for teenage girls featuring writing, photography, illustrations, videos, and more.

In 2008 Tavi started a fashion blog called Style Rookie when she was just eleven years old. The blog combined her thoughts on fashion trends with photos of her own outfits. The blog became extremely popular with up to 30,000 readers a day.

Because Style Rookie was so successful Tavi was invited to Fashion Week in New York and Paris. She even got to style photo shoots, help well-known designers and speak at international conferences.

In 2011 Tavi decided to write about more than just fashion. She said “Lately I’ve been looking to other places for a creative outlet and for inspiration … Now I’m more intrigued by mixing fashion with the other stuff I’ve been enjoying.” Later that year, at the age of fifteen, she founded Rookie Magazine. Most of the articles on Rookie are written by teenage girls, about the issues impacting on their lives, as well as occasional celebrity contributors like Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow. Rookie posts articles three times a day—after school, after dinner, and before bed—and once a day on the weekends. In 2011 Lady Gaga described Tavi as “the future of journalism”.

Tavi is a strong supporter of women’s rights and feminism. Talking about Rookie she said:

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. . . and this is not true and actually recognizing all the contradictions I was feeling became easier once I realized that feminism was not a rulebook but a discussion, a conversation, a process.

Rookie has since published two hard-copy volumes of the magazine Rookie Yearbook One and Rookie Yearbook Two. In 2012 she spoke at TEDXTeen about the representation of women in popular culture, and she’s become a popular speaker at conferences all over the world and was on the Forbes under 30 in the media list in both 2011 and 2012. Tavi also organised a get well card drive for Malala Yousafzai after she was shot by the Taliban for supporting women’s rights to education.

Tavi has been acting in films since 2008, when she appeared in a short film called First Base. In 2012 she voiced a character in animated short film Cadaver and appeared in Enough Said. In 2013 she was interviewed for the documentary The Punk Singer about riot grrrl Kathleen Hanna.

Tavi continues to inspire and empower teenage girls all over the world, proving that you can do anything you put your mind to!

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