Hump Day Heroes: Tavi Gevinson


Tavi Gevinson in New York, Feb 7, 2013

Every Wednesday I am going to post about someone who inspires me… and why they might inspire you too! A Hump Day Hall of Fame if you will.

I will begin this tradition by honouring an amazing young woman, whom I believe to be truly bigger than her body, her age, her reputation and even her success. Her name is Tavi Gevinson.

Sure, I am inspired by the fact that Tavi started her blog at age 11, quickly captured the attention of some 30,000 readers and followed that white rabbit called success all the way to the New York and Paris Fashion Weeks among countless other things.

I love that Lady Gaga has called her the “future of journalism” and that her parents were relatively unaware of her blog… until she was going to be interviewed by the New York Times!

I think it’s great that Tavi (and her similarly impressive contributing authors) are writing, editing and producing meaty, relevant and varied content for young women to devour. Not just what’s “hot right now” in nail polish, but articles about art and science and… yes, ok nail polish. Well, duh!  

I should confess that I haven’t visited Tavi’s website (Rookie) or read her blog (The Style Rookie) that much. Yet.

So, why write about Tavi Gevinson? Because I want to grow up to be just like her…

You will find any number of Tavi’s public presentations and interviews on the Internet and I assure you that they are worth the Google-induced RSI! While many teens would struggle to address their class for a book report, she has the confidence to take the stage and speak with authority in front of hundreds of people, three times her age. Like me, they appear amazed at her ability to share her ideas and stand beside her heroes instead of simply worshipping them.

One of the things that most impresses me is that she identifies as a feminist. That’s a brave move for a 17 year old girl who started out writing a fashion blog…

I have only recently come around to the idea of Feminism, I am ashamed to say. Of course I believed in equality for women, but I naively held that all too common belief that it was a movement exclusively for angry, man-hating, bra-burning women scorned; a club which I couldn’t join and own a Daisy Razor at the same time.

The modern teen girl has little in common with the above stereotype. She possibly doesn’t anticipate facing gender discrimination, unashamedly likes and wants to be liked by boys (and/or girls) and already wears Victoria Secret. So far beyond the fight for the right to vote and have our own credit card are we that many believe the war has been fought and won.

But as Anne Summers has so beautifully put it, “progress is not success”; more subtle forms of sexism still exist.

She would likely roll her eyes, but girls need role models like Tavi; her work is helping this newbie generation of women discover that Feminism can be less about aesthetic, all about attitude and not at all about telling girls who they are not allowed to be.

And that’s got to be worthy of the Hump Day Hall of Fame!





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5 responses to “Hump Day Heroes: Tavi Gevinson

  1. David W

    Hump Day Hero is a great idea – why not celebrate inspirational striving, courage and resolution! This one is a winner! Can’t wait for next Hump Day!
    And ….. Why not have a Dump Day too!? A gentle recognition of what should not be …… and so giving a balance to the World, lest it wobble on its wending way.

  2. BBBaby

    “but I naively held that all too common belief that it was a movement exclusively for angry, man-hating, bra-burning women scorned” re observation it was in part what you describe but as with critical mass there are sub groups most importantly women with really important concerns about inequality – I am with Summers that we dont drop the ball – if you had been there then you would realize

  3. BBBaby

    Can I add that I applaud your observations – U go girl!

    • Cheers, BBBaby!
      I think my generation of women is embarrassingly ignorant about Feminism, having grown up through the backlash era. It creates an apathy around the issue which in turn is seeing a regression in the cause (as seen by a widening pay gap in certain industries!). I hope the likes of Tavi can help young women find a way to reconcile Feminism’s past with present day issues, enabling the movement to stay relevant and keep momentum.

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