Through the process of receiving feedback and reading my peers’ posts, I was able to learn about many inspirational figures in history and how I could improve for the future. All of the posts I read were done exceptionally well. Each post had attributes that I wished my post had too. I was particularly exhilarated by the way Xylia wrote about Malala Yousafzia’s struggle for women’s education rights. Other key aspects that elevated her post were her language and the way her sentences flowed with each other. I have always known a little about Malala’s story, as I owned her book, however, I never got around to reading it. After reading Xylia’s post, I have been considering picking it up. With regards to the comments, I was able to learn what others enjoyed in my post and some critiques on how I could improve it. Most of the people enjoyed the use of images, as it helped break up the text a bit, and made it easier to read. Multiple comments informed me that I didn’t cite my sources in APA style, which I had completely forgotten to do. Julianne had also brought to my attention that I could’ve related my research on Tavi a bit more to my goals as a TALONS student. Overall, I really enjoyed this experience and I am looking forward to learning more about these eminent people in the upcoming month.
“Women are complicated. Not because women are crazy, but because people are crazy, and women happen to be people.” – Tavi Gevinson
Tavi Gevinson isn’t a name that everyone might know, however it’s one that influenced many teenage girls. This year for my eminent person project I chose to research Tavi Gevinson, a fashion blogger, feminist, and fashion icon who began her own fashion blog called the Style Rookie at the age of eleven, as a cause of boredom. In 2008, she began her blog by posting photos of her in getups that looked like she had just rummaged through her parents’ closet and her commentary on the latest fashion trends.
Her blog was written and edited so well that she struggled with criticisms that believed it was fake and was written by other people. Her blog quickly began to gain a lot of attention, attracting nearly 30,000 readers each day, which soon grew to 50,000. From there her rise to stardom was quick, being invited to front row seats at the biggest fashion shows around the world. However, her fame didn’t come without challenges. Being seated next to fashion journalist and Vogue chief editor, Anna Wintour, at a fashion show, put things into comparison.
People in the fashion industry had mixed feelings about Tavi, as some were unbothered by her and her opinions. For example, Valerie Steele said “The designers that she admires are the designers I focus on, however, her blog would be unremarkable if she were not thirteen years old. If she were twenty-three we’d say, ‘Yeah. Who cares?’” Though I might agree with Valerie, I believe that writing articles that addressed complex ideas as a young teen is no easy feat and she should be awarded for her accomplishments. In my opinion, Tavi’s creativity and independence is one that I look up to and aspire to have.
In 2011, at the age of 14, she founded the Rookie magazine which switched focus from just fashion to other issues that impacted teenage girls. The Rookie Magazine had a different theme each month and most of the articles were written by teenage girls and featured guest contributors. Gevinson was interviewed by many news outlets and even wrote articles for Harper’s Bazaar and Barneys.com. In 2012, Tavi spoke at TedxTeen about the representation of teenage girls in pop culture and spoke at The Economist’s World Festival. Called the “future of journalism” by Lady Gaga, she had become a global sensation. No longer a timid, young blogger, Tavi had a unique, confident, journalistic voice.
Being a famous teen didn’t come without it’s challenges. For Tavi it was difficult to “fit-in” in high school and in an interview she said that she worried that her awkwardness and shyness would come off as though she’s better than everyone, which was completely not the case. We also know that Tavi struggled with fear as in an interview she said “… fear is something that holds me back a lot. The pendulum just kind of swings side to side so after I have periods of depression where I do hit rock bottom and feel extremely fearful, then I just know how horrible it is and eventually feel bored enough of the feeling that I feel extra motivated. And then it’s more like the fear of missing out on something totally outweighs the fear of what could happen if I take a risk.”
I personally feel connected to her because we’re both teenage girls (at the time she was writing the Rookie) and we both have a passion for fashion. As learners we also both have a tendency to get extremely invested in one of our crafts, so much that it can take over our lives. For example, the Rookie magazine would publish three time a day, once after school, once after dinner, and once before bed!
Moving forward, I’m excited to dive deeper into the impact that Tavi’s blog and magazine had on others. As a part of my research I would like to read some more of her old articles, as I think it will give me more depth into the kind of voice she had. I will also try to reach out to people that knew her, or helped her in her journey (as well as Tavi herself, though I’m not sure she’ll get back to me), to better understand her as a person.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post.