Tavi Gevinson — high school junior, media baron, and Taylor Swift Number One Fan — talks in a new interview about her plans for Rookie, why she's going to college, and why she won't accept ads for "anti-aging, wrinkle shit."
Gevinson talks a little about how the broadening of her personal interests led to the broadening of the topics she wrote about on her personal blog, and, eventually, to the launch of Rookie, a Web site aimed at teenage girls that has published original writing on everything from abortion to Andrew Wyeth. Gevinson explains, "I did have an experience at Fashion Week my freshman year of high school where I realized how that world can make you so caught up and anxious about how you come off that you can't really see outside of yourself, and I was just like, This is bad. I would like to avoid this."
But that doesn't mean she thinks fashion is stupid:
"Sometimes I even still get embarrassed when people are like, 'You have that blog, right?' And I worry that they’ll think I’m shallow because I write about fashion, or used to. I definitely think that fashion and feminism can be friends. I even think that fashion can be a tool of feminism and of self-expression and individuality and empowerment. But clearly there are flaws with the industry that still really grind my gears."
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Gevinson says she no longer reads every Rookie post prior to publication — though she does set the site's monthly themes and assign stories to writers. And on the advertising side, she decides what the site will and won't accept. "We have vetoed some things, like anti-aging, wrinkle shit. I’m like, 'Why would we be selling this to 13 year olds?'" Gevinson says she feels that being online gives Rookie more independence. "We don’t really have to please advertisers the way that a print magazine did."
But perhaps the funniest moment of the interview comes when Gevinson mentions in passing that she loves Taylor Swift:
You like Taylor Swift?
I love Taylor Swift.
I do. I have a 4,000-word guide to my favorite songs of hers that I send to any friend who’s a new Swiftie. I’m very serious about my fandom.
Have you ever written about that for Rookie?
No. I don’t know how to do it. I’m really tired of the conversation about her feminism, but I also know that it wouldn’t be right with the readers we have and with the way we usually deal with things to write about her without addressing that. I will one day, maybe.
16-Year-Old Media Mogul Tavi Gevinson is Expanding Her Empire [AdWeek]
Image via Getty.