Tavi Gevinson Quotes

  1. In high school, I was doing my magazine ‘Rookie’ and a lot of writing, and I became a little less interested in the fashion world. I was approached by an agent for writing, and I said I wanted to act as well. They sent me scripts, and then I got my first Broadway play, ‘This Is Our Youth’.
  2. For all of the continued awareness of systemic violence and oppression, there isn’t a lot of talk about that psychological toll of racism, at least in white circles and white media.
  3. With acting, I felt like I had a lot to prove because I didn’t study it; I didn’t work my way up in a traditional sense.
  4. When you work online, staying on the Internet more than you need to feels like being at the office after hours.
  5. ‘Rookie’ is not your guide to Being a Teen. It is, quite simply, a bunch of writing and art we like and believe in.
  6. I don’t know that a lot of boys read ‘Rookie’, but we get quite a few nice comments and e-mails from them. To say I’m devoted to making it girls-only is a little extreme, because I don’t actively try to exclude everyone else, just make sure girls know that this space is for them first and foremost.
  7. Oh God, I’m awful at sports. In gym I just try and avoid getting hit in the face.
  8. I don’t know if I’ll ever make rap music, but I just like people who are like, ‘I am going to just find the medium that’s best for this idea and master it and do that.’
  9. The idea that feeling confident and feeling misunderstood are mutually exclusive really bugs me.
  10. Sometimes ‘Rookie’ is written about like, ‘Finally! Something for alternative girls!’ and I’m like, ‘No!’ Obviously it’s not for everyone, but I used to think that there are cheerleaders, and there are art kids.
  11. I no longer get into stupid thought wormholes about identity and stuff. At one time, I did have some impostor syndrome about acting, but then I remembered I’ve been doing this since I was little, actually.
  12. What feels most productive to me isn’t to think so much in terms of how I can be alternative, but how I can be subversive in a way that feels organic, how I can connect with people, and how I can just be myself, which may be the hardest thing to be.
  13. I’m really thankful for every experience I’ve had, even the ones that were puzzling or disorienting, because they taught me so much.
  14. I’m really good at making teen angst romantic. I’m really good at dealing with heartbreak and things like that and making it into this whole experience. But there’s no way to make someone-on-the-Internet-said-something-mean-about-me into romantic angst where you can listen to music and cry or whatever.
  15. I think people get excited about someone discovering something that blew their mind when they were younger. I think it makes people kind of nostalgic and happy. That’s one of the really great things about the Internet, that it can bring people together in that way of just being interested in the same stuff.
  16. Half of my closet is Barbie clothes – PVC skirts, cropped fuzzy sweaters, and velvet minis.
  17. Since the age of 14, I have littered – excuse me, adorned – the Internet with Taylor Swift analyses.
  18. I love ‘First Wives Club’ and ‘Death Becomes Her’ and movies about women like that.
  19. I love the Internet, but I think you have to only use it in the ways that are good for you. I think there’s so much speculation that happens.
  20. My dad is an English teacher, and my mom is a textiles artist. My parents made my sisters and me feel that if we wanted to pursue something creative, it could be done. They’ve always been supportive of everything from the beginning.
  21. It’s great that with the Internet, there has come this sense of creative independence.
  22. People don’t know what to do when writing a story with teens that takes place now – they think you have to make a bunch of references to Facebook.
  23. I try not to do anything I don’t like, so I stay motivated pretty easily.
  24. One of my intentions with ‘Rookie’ is for the girls reading it to know that they are already cool enough and smart enough and pretty enough.
  25. I try to be very honest in my writing. It’s amazing, though, to think that people are responding to what we do, but it’s okay if they’re responding in a positive way too, because I think just creating anything at all to put out there is a gift.
  26. If I’m thrifting, and I find this great dress, but it won’t fit me, and I won’t grow into it because I’m impossibly tiny, I don’t want to let it sit there. I’ll buy it and send it to a friend.
  27. When I was younger, I always liked acting. You know, like, acting locally, or community theater at school. But it’s not an especially insured career choice, so I was like, ‘It’s a hobby. Whatever.’
  28. I think what human beings need is to be able to laugh at the absurd, hold on to ambiguity, and learn to love nuance, instead of making everything one or the other, and structurally, so much of the Internet and online publishing doesn’t have room for any of that.
  29. Sometimes if you expose your vulnerability, someone else will feel comforted. It’s like we’re all in this boat together.
  30. People ask me about the decision to transition from fashion to ‘Rookie’ magazine. But it wasn’t a decision. I was 14, and my interests were changing.
  31. Solange’s new album, ‘A Seat at the Table’, is so many things at once: an antidote to hate, a celebration of blackness, an expression of the right to feel it all. After a move to Louisiana and period of self-reflection, the artist joined forces with a range of collaborators to put her new discoveries to music.
  32. Interviewing Rei Kawakubo in Tokyo and John Galliano in Paris, both for ‘Pop’ magazine, were huge for me, not just in learning about fashion and writing but about how little desire I had to be a critic/reporter/journalist/commentator so much as a kind of travel diarist.
  33. It’s so hard getting rid of something that means something to you, as many of the pieces on our site do for me.
  34. My life motto is basically to lower your standards and expectations so you’re never disappointed and never put any trust in anything, and I try to prepare for the day that I wake up, and everyone I know is like, ‘LOL JK best long-running practical joke ever’, so I’ve never really let myself freak out or get too excited about anything.
  35. I think everybody should go to high school. It’s horrible, and it unites you with other people.
  36. I feel like, maybe in the ’90s, ‘Rookie’ would have been shamed for trying to reach a lot of people or trying to be ‘mainstream’, but I’m so pleased that our readers are happy to see me promoting the ‘Rookie’ yearbook on TV or whatever.
  37. I guess what I’m trying to say is that writing is mysterious; you don’t ever truly know where it is coming from, so don’t edit yourself line by line. Don’t get in your own way. Whatever is truly there at the core, that is your voice.
  38. I really just don’t think that teenagers and adults are maybe as different as people think, and so the best roles, to me, are treated like real people and not like these ‘crazy kids we don’t know what to do with.’
  39. There are moments when I am really not happy with how I look, or I think it would be an easy way out to try and do the conventionally attractive thing. But part of it is that I don’t have the energy to put on, like, makeup. If people want to do that, that’s fine. But I’ve learned that it’s not for me.
  40. I get kind of sad when I look at all of my magazines and think about how at one time I was much more impressed with a certain fashion editorial, or how I feel like I can’t really relate to being that excited about fashion anymore. Maybe it’s being jaded, but I honestly like that now, when something’s really good, I feel more affected by it.
  41. I feel like one thing that a lot of creative people go through is that they feel like they don’t have the right to be creative or to put their stuff out there. I’m glad that blogging from a young age kind of got that out of the way for me.
  42. The connection that readers have to ‘Rookie’ has only meant more and more to me as I get older.
  43. It was always in the back of my mind while we were working on the first year of ‘Rookie’ that we’d do a print version at some point.
  44. I’m good at utilising body parts as letters.
  45. There are a lot of distractions when you’re in creative industries like publishing or fashion or media, and it’s a real blessing to have witnessed some of those up close at a young age. I think when you get past the glamour, that’s when you get to the good stuff – the stuff that really feeds your soul and enriches you as a person.
  46. I love art, but I don’t think I’m especially good at it. Fashion I think I could imagine, but I’m not really sure. I think it’s easiest for me to picture myself in music.
  47. I go through periods where I don’t really care what I look like, because I feel more focused on the work that I’m doing, and I don’t want to think about it. And then sometimes it feels like the biggest part of my day is getting dressed.
  48. I think people can tell when you’re pandering to them, and they feel insulted. I think that one thing that is really nice about the work that I do is that I can just sort of make mistakes or try out different ideas or be inconsistent and be vulnerable.
  49. I still care a lot about my personal style, and since moving to New York and having a little more control over my own money, I’ve been able to make my 12-year-old fashion nerd dream comes true.
  50. I think it’s foolish to interview someone who’s just promoting a movie that they’re in and ask if they consider themselves a feminist. That’s not about feminism; that’s about the journalist wanting to gauge how much this person is aware of the world or is aware of the feminist movement.
  51. I understand that a lot of girls feel encouraged by what I have been able to do, but I’ve never felt like I’m a role model. I’m not concerned with building a great legacy or anything because I’ll be dead so it won’t matter.
  52. I feel lucky in that I don’t really have to go to college to study something job-specific. I just want to go to learn about what is interesting to me and learn about the classes that you don’t really get to take in high school because you have to take the basics.
  53. With the release of her fourth album, ‘Red,’ in 2012 and a handful of highly publicized romances, Taylor was criticized by the press and other entertainers for such sinful acts as dating people and writing songs about it, gaining a reputation as boy-crazy and love-ridden.
  54. When you’re a kid you’re already trying to create your own world and organize the one in front of you, but then you get all insecure around 6th grade and don’t think you have a right to share that.
  55. I got into one of the schools I applied to because of the essay I wrote about Holly Hunter’s character in ‘Broadcast News.’ She’s the only female producer on this news network, and she’s really good at her job, but she allots time in her day to just sit at her desk and cry. And then she’s just back to work. I find that really effective.
  56. Feminism to me means fighting. It’s a very nuanced, complex thing, but at the very core of it I’m a feminist because I don’t think being a girl limits me in any way.
  57. I actually never liked writing on my own or in school until I’d had my blog for a while and realized I’d been writing every day for years.
  58. If the next thing I do is not necessarily filling the role of ‘the future of journalism,’ it’ll probably be whatever is making me happiest, and that’s enough for me.
  59. Having your stuff online – some people think of it as gimmicky, but in a way, it’s one of the most pure forms of having your work judged.
  60. I think it’s just important to be able to keep things to myself and to have these moments that can’t be – where I don’t put them out and feel like they could be misunderstood, you know?
  61. I’m not exactly in a position where I get to be super-picky about the roles I get. But I would also never want to be a part of something that I think is poor in taste or doesn’t align with what I believe in.
  62. If there is something that strikes me as interesting or beautiful or something I could learn from, and I don’t write it down, then I could be at lunch with you, and it’s like there’s a pile of laundry in my brain that I haven’t put away, and I struggle to really listen, so that’s always been important to me.
  63. As feminism becomes more integrated into mainstream publications and conversation, I feel weary of an obsession of celebrity culture masquerading as activism or as conversation or action. It’s clickbait.
  64. One thing I’ve learned in my limited experience is you can justify anything intellectually. There are a million reasons to stay with someone, and a million reasons to end something – so you can really only trust your gut.
  65. I’ve kept a journal since I was 15. And I feel like it’s been crucial to who I’ve become and trying to maintain stuff, a sense of who I am just for myself and not for other people.
  66. I think it was my mom’s attitude about art and being part of the narcissistic digital generation or whatever that made me think anyone would care what I had to say about anything!
  67. The idea of being a ‘child star’ always sounded awful to people my age, and so I was just very aware that these things are kind of fleeting and that a lot of it didn’t have to do with me: it had to do with my age; it had to do with whatever came to mind when people thought of a young internet sensation.
  68. That young people don’t have valid thoughts about the world because they haven’t been alive long enough is sadly a very popular and, frankly, unoriginal sentiment. When I think about that time, I was just responding to the world around me.
  69. I usually end up making a huge mess every morning when I get dressed. My outfit affects my whole day. I’m always running late, and I’m always trying to make sure I feel really good in what I’m wearing, because if you’re wearing something you’re not comfortable in, it ruins your day.
  70. I’d seen ‘The Sopranos,’ but I wasn’t a faithful viewer because I can’t handle it.
  71. I think that everybody wants to be heard, and the easiest way to be the loudest is to be the hater.
  72. Fashion intersects a lot with art and film and music, and that was appealing to me. I read a bunch of fashion blogs and wanted to be part of the community.
  73. When I first watched Bette Davis in ‘All About Eve’, I was struck by how much I felt that she is Margo Channing and that she’s Bette Davis, where she was able to do both, where you’re like, ‘What an icon.’
  74. I first met Solange at a party for her gorgeous and inspiring website, Saint Heron. I’d already had so many phases of listening exclusively to 2012’s ‘True’ and admired her activism and radiant style.
  75. I just feel so lucky that I’m able to do things that are enriching for me.
  76. A lot of people glorify and romanticize the idea of being an early bloomer: finding success very early and being a child star. But it can also be quite dangerous.
  77. I think that when people who’ve had success from a young age go through a train-wreck cycle, it’s usually because they’re working on someone else’s terms, so they feel the need to rebel. But when it’s something you’ve built, you don’t have that same kind of resentment or angstiness. But it’s also difficult to keep those standards for yourself.
  78. The scariest thing about receiving praise at a young age is the fear of burning out or losing it, or proving people right that you were just a novelty. Obviously, I can see mistakes in things that I’ve done or said and can see flaws in things I’ve made, but that’s just part of growing.
  79. If my parents ever had to ground me, they didn’t really know what that would mean, because I was inside most of the time anyway.
  80. When I was around 12, my heroes were Cindy Sherman and Bob Dylan and Samuel Westing from the kids’ novel ‘The Westing Game’.
  81. Maybe I need to make a change, or maybe it’s living here in New York or using social media or working in media and entertainment, but I feel like I’m constantly trying to maintain this sense of, ‘Why do I do what I do?’
  82. I have a pair of Rodarte leggings. They’re crazy, but I wore them for one day, and then by the end of the day they weren’t tearing, but they were getting a little loose.
  83. When I was starting out, I saw it as something that was definitely going to end. Every time I came to New York for fashion week or to interview someone, I was so sad going back home because I thought, ‘These things don’t get to last.’ That’s sort of the narrative of young success.
  84. Every day, I kind of have in my brain a few slots of what I want to do. Like school, sleep, homework, ‘Rookie,’ hanging out with friends, mindless relaxation time, and then trying to do my own creative things.
  85. Taylor’s first four albums have been certified platinum a combined 21 times, but despite her unprecedented success in country music, ‘1989’ is strictly pop.
  86. If I’m extremely bored and I don’t have a book with me and I’m being an obnoxious teenager, I’ll read ‘BuzzFeed’ on my phone. But even that just leaves me feeling icky because I think for some reason my comfort zone is to just not really be in the loop about stuff like awards shows or things like that.
  87. It brings me no joy and not enough comfort to dwell too much on things I’ve said or written or made or worn in the past.
  88. So much about ‘Rookie’ has been very organically familial among our contributors, among our readers. Yeah, if I interview someone like Lorde, who I do know outside of work – sometimes I’m just so happy; it’s so cool that this is organically, effortlessly, the warm, supportive friend vibe that we want here.
  89. You like the style of the people you like because it reflects something inside them.
  90. I am a feminist – I just think the label reflects my beliefs – but, you know, we say ‘Rookie’ is a website for teenage girls, not a feminist website for teenage girls. That’s not because I’m not proud to call myself a feminist, but when you’re calling attention to a project, you can very easily be pigeonholed by choosing certain identifiers.
  91. I really like looking at what’s new in my favourite designers’ stores, even if I don’t buy anything.
  92. One thing that I always liked about fashion was that it was tied in with music and art and film.
  93. I’m very interested in film, but any more involvement would happen organically. I’m not really seeking anything out, just looking at projects that come up that interest me.
  94. I get breakfast when everyone else is on their lunch break. I usually go to Dimes, which is a short walk from my apartment. Usually, I’ll have chia pudding or an acai bowl and toast and sausage.
  95. I have a problem with people saying feminine means anti-feminist, and I think it’s counter-productive to immediately associate anything ‘girly’ with vanity or stupidity.
  96. When I feel really insecure, or I’m in a social situation where I’m nervous about how I come off, or I’m trying to control the situation too much, I literally just try and use the same muscles that I had to use on stage – just paying attention to the other person and trusting yourself to respond as emotionally honestly as possible.
  97. I think it’d be great to own a fun concept store with my friends and just sell books and records.
  98. My to-do list is the only form of organization I have, other than my iCal. It’s not all work stuff; it’s a lot of movies that I want to watch sooner rather than later. I have a list that’s like, ‘Read an essay from this book, then this one, then go back to this one.’
  99. When you’re playing someone else, it sounds so negative to say you want to erase yourself, but part of the joy of it is you get to not be yourself.
  100. I created ‘Rookie’ because I read a lot of websites that I thought were cool and interesting, but they weren’t for teens, and I wanted us to have something that could be ours.
  101. I’ve worked with a few coaches, and I did theater camp when I was younger, and I think what was good was when I was younger, it was never intense Interlochen theater camp.
  102. I like ‘My So-Called Life’ and the ‘Riot Grrl Movement’ and ‘Freaks and Geeks.’
  103. The idea that feeling confident and feeling misunderstood are mutually exclusive really bugs me. So a lot of what ‘Rookie’ is about is just showing that you can be both, and you can like whatever you want.
  104. I would like to write a movie and, if it wasn’t too crazy, also direct.
  105. Some of my clothes are things that we’d play dress up with when we were little, and it’s funny that now I’m wearing it, like, as an everyday thing. But if I say ‘vintage’ or ‘thrifted’ on the blog, there’s this community of fashion bloggers, and I’ve become sort of tight with some of them, and we, like, just send each other packages.
  106. Sometimes you want something really serious that makes you feel emotional and makes you think, and sometimes you do just want a pop song. What I love about Taylor Swift is that she offers both.
  107. I think I surprise some people because a lot of the time, I roll out of bed and go to school, and it’s like I don’t wear anything that interesting sometimes.
  108. I’m a lot more productive in an actual office. I love being around our other editors, and going there every day alleviates some of the guilt that I think many self-employed people feel when you know you could always be working from your laptop at home. I feel so relaxed there, while completely engaged and inspired.
  109. I think that when you make yourself vulnerable, the thing that you do next is better. It’s not like you have to inflict pain on yourself in order to make yourself better, but I think it helps. The thing that bonds you to a new friend isn’t that you went to a really fun party; it’s ’cause you had a really weird, sad conversation.
  110. I feel like now fashion is just part of how I think about everything. When I send out a mood board to our contributors every month about our monthly theme, there are photos from our fashion shows, but there are also film stills and album art.
  111. I’m a big journaler, so for every new journal, I would change the way my room looked and change the posters on the walls, and I would change what I was wearing, and I would have a playlist, and it all kind of corresponded and matched, and I would change my handwriting in the journals.
  112. I’d like ‘Rookie’ to be a helpful resource, but I never want it to be too prescriptive. Hopefully, it also makes the reader feel encouraged to think for herself.
  113. I was eight years old when Miley Cyrus made her debut on Disney Channel’s ‘Hannah Montana’ and beginning my senior year of high school when she delivered the VMAs performance that single-handedly butchered the teddy-bear industry.
  114. I’ve witnessed so many meetings and conferences where people are trying to figure out what young people think, and my feeling has consistently been that you should just ask them.
  115. I’m not obsessively a follower of fashion in the way I used to be. But I still have all those magazines I bought at the time because I bought ones that felt a little timeless, more like books.
  116. I am a Justin Bieber fan, but I am also so fascinated by how weird pop music can be and how manipulated it can be, so I enjoy thinking about that side of it too. I feel bad for him. I could never imagine growing up that way.
  117. I so think it’s limiting to define an audience ahead of time. This is something I’ve brought on myself by being like, ‘There are no ‘real’ teen publications! That’s what I’ll do!’ But then it’s like, well, if I want ‘Rookie’ to be successful and popular, then people will invalidate the realness by saying it’s popular and mainstream.
  118. My anxiety has gotten worse as I’ve graduated and gotten older, and I still feel like ‘Rookie’ is a place where I can talk about that, and hopefully someone relates to it.
  119. Before ‘This is Our Youth’, I did a week of table reading ‘Airline Highway’ at Steppenwolf in Chicago while the author, Lisa D’Amour, workshopped it.

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