Beware of Young Girls: A Tribute to Teenage Tavi

When I first started reading The Style Rookie, Tavi Gevinson was a precocious 12-year-old who compiled exceptional mood boards and collages.

Since then she has developed into an eccentric and influential fashion icon, as well as an outspoken feminist.

My heart was warmed when Tavi went to high school, discovered riot grrrl, and started espousing the merits of fourth-wave feminism.

How Riot Grrrl Can Change Your Life.

Although she is not the most critical writer, I appreciate how she vocally promotes the things that she loves.

She became particularly fixated on the now-defunct Sassy magazine.

Tavi spoke with Sassy‘s founding editor Jane Pratt and started her own online magazine.  She incorporated the subversive spirit she channeled from the ’90s, and offers cultural commentary, feminist critique, and fashion tips to the current generation of socially awkward future power girls of America.

Since I came of age in the post-grunge cultural lacuna that was the late-’90s and early-2000s, Rookie Mag is just the kind of thing I wish I had when I was in high school.

Tavi’s recent talk at Ted x Teen is smart, encouraging everyone to be a work-in-progress, espousing that it’s ok to be “still figuring things out.” It takes guts to be this gawky, and a preternatural self-awareness to be wise about your own jejune youth.

(Needless to say, I fell into the opposite camp of dramatic self-loathing know-it-all teens.)

She recently turned 16 and coincidentally has gotten arrestingly beautiful.

Just watch her in this video for indie fashion designer Wren:

Her recent tutorial on how to do a two min. beehive caused an Internet fan sensation.

So thanks Tavi for striving each day to “strike a graceful balance between Liz Lemon and Stevie Nicks” (as she recently tweeted) and for being an arbiter of avant-garde taste for her generation. She gives hope to all of us cynical/cantankerous ones who might otherwise be compelled to write off “the youth of today.”

Her sweet sixteen party seems to have taken place inside the album art of an old Bikini Kill record.

Fangirl of a fangirl.

Editor in chief.

At no time in my life will the Mulleavy Sisters send me jackets to wear to Rodarte fashion shows, so I take vicarious pleasure in Tavi’s charmed existence.

About shawnaelizabeth

Literary Lady.


  1. i’m really glad i found this website. and tavi’s amazing! i photographed her for my street style blog outside of a rodarte show. she only let me photograph her (i am 24 yr old curly haired shy girl and I look like i’m 12) when all of these aggressive male photogs were getting in my face and her face. she stopped to chat with me for ten minutes- she’s totes awesome.

  2. Wow that is awesome! We’re glad you found us, too. Send us your blog link if you want! We’re always looking to collaborate with photographers.

  3. Candy

    Tavi’s pretty awesome and Rookie’s actually solely owned and ran by her. Before it launched it sounded like Jane Pratt and Tavi were going to work on it together but that never came to be. From “‘It was just that I want to have full control, and it’s important to me that we’re independent, not so that we can be indie and ‘down with the man,’ but because I find a lot of comfort knowing that it’s all in my control.'”

  4. shawnaelizabeth

    I probably should have mentioned that all of the other girls who contribute to Rookie are amazing too! In particular, Arabelle Sicardi makes me want to buy so many cosmetics (she runs a makeup Tumblr called powder doom) and Petra Collins’ photography is so so beautiful!

  5. “Her sweet sixteen party seems to have taken place inside the album art of an old Bikini Kill record.”
    I die.

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