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Our Evening With Tavi Gevinson

Last week, my fellow UIC Radio coworker and friend Pearl Shin and I attended a meet-and-greet session with creator of Rookie Magazine, Tavi Gevinson, at Chicago’s very own Music Box Theater for the release of Rookie Yearbook 4.

Tavi Gevinson is a ridiculously cool, inspiring person. For starters, she’s only 19 years old, and she’s already become a style icon, as well as Editor-In-Chief of her online magazine, Rookie, launched in 2011. With this online community, young girls from all over the world come together to bring their best creations to life to share with one another, and the rest of the world.

Since the creation of her blog, Style Rookie, Tavi has shifted her focus to popular culture, as well as feminism and the role girls play in today’s world. After launching her website, Tavi went on to create the Rookie Yearbooks, a yearly print issue full of some of the best contributions to Rookie Mag, released in the fall to honor the high school tradition.

The overall meet-and-greet experience was really inspiring; Tavi started off by reading the letter from the editor in the Yearbook, and 3 other Rookie contributors read some beautiful pieces that they have written for Rookie in the past. In this joint blog, Pearl and I will give a rundown of our experience at the meet-and-greet event with such an inspiring person:

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Photo by Pearl Shin, edits by Sonia Vavra


How we discovered Rookie:

Pearl Shin (PS): Before Rookie Mag, I was originally a fan of Tavi’s blog called the Style Rookie. Despite her young age, I admired her quirky, personal style and her talent as a writer. I think what attracted me to her blog was her unique writing voice. She had a solid identity that was very personable and relatable!

Sonia Vavra (SV): I first heard of Tavi Gevinson way back in the day through my sister. We were probably about 12 or 13 at the time. My sister found her blog, The Style Rookie, and told me how cool she thought Tavi was as she gave her fashion insight in her blogs. Seeing her grow as a person and her career thrive, I always admired her for creating Rookie and uniting a lot of girls from all over the world.

What Rookie means to us:

SV: To me, Rookie is a platform for young girls to express themselves in a way that society often does not allow. It’s a safe community that allows creative expression and support, and shows other readers that they are not alone in their journey through life. The art and writing always help me think with a different mindset and to look at the world in a different way that I may not have considered otherwise.

PS: Rookie Magazine is a huge source of inspiration to me. I love that the magazine creates a sense of community for teens and also showcases the talents of teenagers that would otherwise be dismissed or go unnoticed. The writing and art in Rookie is very fun, but it is also very raw, honest, profound, and mature. It covers so many different themes that are relevant to growing up. Honestly, I wish that something like Rookie existed when I was first struggling to get through the teenage years. It’s nice to know that others understand what you’re going through, experienced similar things, and thought similar thoughts.

Photo by Pearl Shin

Pictured: Tavi Gevinson. Photo by Pearl Shin


How we heard about Tavi Gevinson’s Rookie Yearbook signing:

PS:  I heard about Tavi’s Rookie Yearbook signing through my girl, Sonia, of course! Thanks for telling me about the event! My mind was inspired and my heart was healed.

SV: I heard about the Yearbooks before, but I think I was too young or not as involved to get into them. But I knew about Tavi and Rookie for a long time and just started getting more into it again. When I discovered that Tavi was coming to Chicago for her meet and greet, I knew it would be an opportunity I wouldn’t want to miss (especially for only $10!).

What we think of Tavi Gevinson:

SV: Tavi Gevinson is a talented, inspiring feminist icon for girls of all ages. Her story of success at such a young age and her support for her fans helps me keep my head on my shoulders and gives me the drive to go after what I want. Seeing her talk at this event reaffirmed for me that I can do whatever I set my mind to, as cliche as that sounds, and that I’m never alone in what I’m feeling. Especially since she and I aren’t far off in age, and seeing all that she’s already done, she makes me aspire to do more. She was so sweet when I got to talk to her in person, and was especially patient after meeting well over 100 people ahead of me (not to mention, we look oddly related, which I think is pretty rad). Thanks for all you do, Tavi.

PS: Tavi is such beautiful, cool, funny, charming, lovable, and genuine human being with a heart of gold and wisdom beyond her years. I listed so many adjectives, but Tavi really is all that and more. Just being in the same room as her and listening to her contributions to Rookie Mag uplifted my spirit and inspired me to chase after my dreams, strive to be a better person, and most importantly, love and accept myself.

Photos by Pearl Shin

Pictured: Pearl Shin, Tavi Gevinson, and Sonia Vavra. Photo courtesy of Pearl Shin.


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