The first time I heard of Tavi Gevinson was when I was in high school. Idly flipping through the latest copy of Teen Vogue, a write-up of a girl with short strawberry-colored hair and a distinctive outfit caught my eye. This was during the days when Tavi ran The Style Rookie, a blog where she documented her unique sense of personal style.
Her website had found admirers throughout the fashion world, and she was invited to attend shows during Fashion Week as a precocious thirteen-year-old. At fifteen, Tavi started her own online publication, Rookie. She, along with other girls her age, wrote essays, posted pictures, interviewed celebrities, and discussed topics that they felt were unexamined by other media catering to teenage girls. Her publication took off, and years after its founding, Rookie is still a place where girls from around the world can find a like-minded community.
After graduating high school, Tavi moved to New York and channeled her creativity into acting in Broadway shows such as The Crucible and The Cherry Orchard. Although her schedule remains full with acting and presiding as Editor-in-Chief of her online publication, she’s found time to begin a podcast with MTV based off of her magazine. The Rookie podcast is a continuation of Tavi’s vision for her online publication, and is described on MTV’s website as a show that will “discuss creativity, pop culture, feminism, activism, self-care, love, friendship, and more.”
The first episode of the podcast consists of two segments: an interview with the singer, Lorde, and a segment called “Ask a Grown,” where a reader sends in a question and Tavi ensures that it’s answered by an adult. In the latter section, a reader sent in a question about careers and finding direction in college, and Hilton Als, theater critic for The New Yorker, answers it thoughtfully. Lorde’s interview is where Tavi truly shines as a host; her years of interviewing celebrities for Rookie serve her well. She asks profound questions about the songwriting process and creativity, and her real-life friendship with Lorde adds an extra layer of depth to their discussion.
You only have to listen to Tavi speak for a few minutes to realize that she’s a genuinely introspective person. In her work, she combines discussions of pop culture with deeper themes of humanity, diversity, creativity, and in her words, “what it means to be a person.” Tavi’s thoughtful approach to life and pop culture allows her to delve into subjects with a vigor and thirst for understanding that is refreshing. She frequently pulls quotes from literature and philosophical works and incorporates them into her monthly editor’s letters on Rookie, and she remains a serious advocate for both pop culture and social justice.
Whether you navigated your teen years by faithfully reading Rookie or are wondering what you may have missed out on, check out Tavi’s new podcast. Her dedication to creating relatable content for teenage girls should be celebrated, and considering her past and current work as a creative and an intellectual, it’s sure to be a fun and thought-provoking show.