We admire this week’s featured Muse, Kelly Holmes, for among countless other things, the guts and initiative it undoubtedly took to launch her lifestyle publication, Native Max. By turning a problem into an opportunity, Kelly has created a unique, cherished space for Native arts, culture, and lifestyle to be celebrated and discussed.
In that spirit, we welcome to the stage the inimitable, bold, astoundingly introspective and impossibly articulate Tavi Gevinson. Tavi is the mastermind behind the publication Rookie Mag, which is responsible for the rejuvenation of teenage publications with its refreshing, healthy approach to coming-of-age.
When we first started BYOM, Tavi was the kind of young woman we wanted to feature—smart, accomplished, dedicated, unconventional. She’s created a wonderfully authentic global brand in the form of her publication Rookie. At its core, Rookie praises people for being unabashedly themselves, while simultaneously lamenting at how difficult that seems to be, not only during adolescence, but always.
Rookie evolved from her personal style blog, The Style Rookie, that she founded at the impressive age of eleven. It has grown into an adolescent girl’s bible, comprised of pieces written by other teenagers. Rookie encapsulates the spirit of adolescence in a way that is totally relatable, reliably compelling and packed full of perspective-shifting epiphanies.
It is this sincere self-questioning and complex, thoughtful exploration of issues so close to our own hearts that keep us reading, even at the not-quite-teen ages of 24 and 25. We love the way it discusses why we might feel the way we do (and why we feel it so much), what it means to grow and evolve, how identity is constantly morphing, and so much more.
Reading Rookie is like reading an unfiltered diary of your best and soon-to-be best friends. These bravely honest confessions make you feel as if the writer is a soulmate you’ve yet to meet. Every piece reminds you that although circumstances change and generations evolve, the rollercoaster ride of emotions, insecurities, awkwardness, and youth-induced bursts of self-confidence and invincibility that so characterize those high school days are indeed, a universal experience that connects us all.
While Rookie in no way shies away from depth, it also manages to maintain an air that is not so serious as to be inaccessible. Case in Point: the Ask a Grown Man series. That, my friends, is a gorgeously vulnerable version of genius. Here’s Terry Crews dropping some knowledge bombs.
And, as if you needed any more convincing, here are a few knowledge bombs dropped by the lovely Tavi herself:
On coming of age:
Such scenes tend to make up a rather flimsy charm bracelet. Most of the events that have been good for me were not glorious—they were unsexy and difficult. Glory usually fills me with shame the next day, pillow lines forming cartoonish wrinkles on my face, making what I thought was newfound wisdom seem like a game of dress-up.
But something else is left over when I awake from glory, too, like a lingering dream. My laughter echoes, or a friend’s expression buzzes in my head. Some of the memories don’t even feel like mine, and I find that sort of wonderful, that I was able to briefly exchange my own histories, regrets, and self-imprisonment for what was in front of me. I become aware of the delusion required to have had such faith in myself, in others, in the moment, and then I find it almost heroic. From the risks made less scary by the seemingly temporary, I have grown a sort of confidence. It is an act of bravery to dance on a tightrope suspended by one’s own abandon.
On working towards your dreams:
You want to create your own art but you get all stifled because you feel so intimidated by all the stuff you fan-girl over that came before you. You feel like you can never live up to all your influences so you just give up entirely…Just forget about the passing of the torch and stop worshiping your heroes. You should humanize them and understand you have a place right next to them.
On success and the unavoidable haters:
You will never hear more people tell you that you’re wrong than when you’re succeeding.
On being yourself and being present:
I want very badly to be good, kind, “myself” with other people. I worry that “myself” sucks, so I think about everything I’m about to say very hard, and then usually end up not saying anything at all. I get glimpses of what it’s like to respond to the world honestly, instead of trying to show people someone I think they will find likeable. The former, when I can do it, is rewarding; the latter is safe, but also, as established last month, a form of slowly dying, which sometimes doesn’t seem so horrible.
I believe it comes down to trusting yourself—that you won’t ruin everything—and trusting the world—that it can be good; that this day won’t be painful; that this social interaction won’t be the worst. And I don’t think you can do a ton of mental maze-running to get there, because that’s what draws you out of interacting with what’s in front of you; you just pay attention as closely as possible to everything happening outside of your head, and then your head will follow and become occupied with the things that make life worth living: the wonderfulness of the friend you’re talking to, the fascination they have with what they’re telling you about, how much more there is to learn about the thing they’re discussing.
And we can’t forget her her endearingly irreverent, yet still envy-worthy take on Chanel + PFW:
And how much she loves her fans:
+ Want more Tavi? Check out Rookie Mag + even catch her on Broadway in the upcoming production of The Crucible, opening in February 2016.