Friday, 6 September 2013

#30daychallenge day 25: someone who fascinates me, and why.

i've mentioned her a few times and i think now is the perfect opportunity to talk about it.

tavi gevinson.

i came across her TED talk probably 3 months ago. i was home sick with ridiculous headaches that have been almost-but-not-quite chronic (seems that it's my ribs, folks- in case you wondered), and looking for a bit of meaning to life. naturally, TED talks. my lovely mum had given me an early birthday/thanks for housesitting present of an iPad, which is something i'd secretly wanted for quite some time, but could never quite justify buying. so yay! lucky me. with it came my discovery of all sorts of apps i never ran on my iPhone due to space, but iPad is all spacious inside... so we find ourselves at TED talks.

for anyone not in the know (to continue on this aside... we will circle round to tavi, i promise) TED talks are about inspiring people in their field making a speech and flashing a few powerpoint slides when relevant. what i like to do is put one on when i'm doing a menial thing, like organising my wardrobe (why is it that i have to do this once a day lately? why??) or alphabetising my books (just kidding; i use the Dewey system) or painting my nails or some such. so i get to listen and learn and be inspired and also, in theory, see my floor again at some point.

so tavi's talk came up under one of the feminism searches i did, and here it is:

she's young and articulate and has used silly powerpoint slides to be self-depricating. and i like that.

naturally, the next point of contact is rookie blows my mind on a regular basis because there is just so. much. content, it's carefully managed and high quality in a way that's not smooth but holds a lot of integrity. everytime i read it, i think 'why on earth did i have to grow up 10 years earlier?' - not that i'd like to go back to being a teenager, but for the one time i had to be one, i wish i'd had this to read. i am going to make my stepsister get into it, although she'll probably roll her eyes at me. that's ok.

the content covers so many points and intricacies of a teenage life that i wonder how heavily into mindmaps the team gets in order to pull this off so perfectly. recent favourites posts include:
as time wore on and i read more rookie content and interviews with tavi about her motivation and creative processes, the more admiration i had for her. this is a woman with a seriously clever head on her shoulders, but what's more amazing (and i guess also a little sad) is just how revolutionary rookie is, as a very concept. why is it that something made by young women for young women which gives us the depth of character we deserve, as well as speaking to us with respect, in a way that makes us feel known, normal, and supported, is such an amazing thing? why has a young woman speaking up filled me with such hero-worship type feelings?

we need more of it, and we need it yesterday. gradually, bit by bit, this is something i try to address in my own work. not so much that every single thing needs to be picked apart from a feminist standpoint (although listen, between you and me it probably does), but to start being aware. particularly, the stories we're being told as women, through media, are not the only stories out there. that we can create our own stories, and we damn well should. 

rookie, and tavi, are feminist in a way that everyone should be feminist. there is a simple statement there, and it's that feminism is a no-brainer. that being a woman looks different for every.single.woman on the planet. that women are never just one thing; that women are creative, passionate, intelligent, clever, smart beings who make up half the world. 

i'm fascinated by tavi because she is a great many things. her first blog, style rookie, is her younger self and her relationship to fashion, which is just as interesting to read. you can be a feminist and be interested in clothing (i have struggled with this one in the past, back when i was a theoretical feminist fueled by university study, and not a feminist living in the real world who loves clothes), you can be a woman and not care about clothes at all, because you're really into the environment. or, you can care about clothes, and the environment, and asylum seekers, and what other people think of you, (even when you know you shouldn't).

i was lucky enough to see tavi speak in august; she did a talk at the opera house and i went along. it was a special experience made more special by the others i was there with. so many amazing, individual young women. i people-watched and internally raised my eyebrows at some of the outfits until i realised just how great it was that these people didn't look like they walked out of cosmo, and were rocking awesome floral-thrifted-sparkly clothing in the light of day, outside their rooms. the shoes! the leopard print! the fringes! the flower crowns! the red lips! the mixed prints! the accessories! the instagrammin'! the floral cotton dresses! the thick framed glasses! the fur hats and peter pan collars! the dr martens! the general lack of men! the eyeliner and high-waisted things!

tavi gevinson did that - just by being a fashion blogger. it was a physical manifestation of one woman's words and their impact on other young women looking for something telling them it's ok to be different- in fact, it's pretty awesome that we all are.

you can see her full talk at the opera house here, or you can read up on her message for this tour of australia she made according to Pip Lincolne's take on her Melbourne visit. i have to agree with Pip, and observe that my take-away point was really if you have something to say, you should say it- even if someone else has already said it, or heaps of people already have. it's about the way you are saying it that makes it creative and original, because everyone's backgrounds are different. tavi talked a lot about fangirling, and what a valuable role it plays in our creative selves. it's ok to love something obsessively, just like it's ok to get to a point where you want to kill your idols (not literally kids; she's not into murderousness) and create something different. 

i've been thinking a lot about my own creative history and am currently sifting my way through over 20 journals from my teenage time. i'd forgotten just how many unrequited feelings i felt at that time of my life, and it makes me nostalgic and in awe of the sheer amount of poetry i churned out. i also painted, drew and collaged. i was marvelling the other day to someone about the days when i used to have spare time (like school), and wondering what i did. now i know. i wrote all my angst to death, but in a good way.

i will continue to be fascinated by tavi, because she is articulate and wonderful, and i'm interested to see what happens next, for the sheer knowledge that so much about my life happened after highschool. she is going to be even more of a force to be reckoned with, and she continues to inspire me every day.

selfie on instagram, from which i get serious spectacles envy.

an instagram of food and shoes- she is @tavitulle on instagram, and awesome to follow.

The physical version of the best parts of web content from the first year of

The famous bow-on-head combo from fashion week. Apparently it sucked to sit behind her.


1 comment:

  1. Oh I love Tavi too, I wish I could have gone to see her speak! Sadly by the time I realised she was coming it was sold out. I haven't been reading RookieMag for very long, but I am really enjoying it. It's so raw and relatable.