I met Tavi Gevinson, founder and editor-in-chief of Rookie, an online magazine for teenage girls, and it was literally the best thing ever.
Tavi and Toronto-based Rookie contributors Petra Collins, a photographer, and Anna Fitzpatrick and Hannah Johnson, both writers, were at the Rookie Yearbook One reading and signing at Indigo Books in Toronto this past Saturday, and were met by dozens of eccentrically dressed and D.I.Y.-capable girls. Rookie Yearbook One is a printed publication that not only includes articles, interviews, photo editorials, and illustrations from the online magazine Rookie, but also has a page of important stickers (of a slice of pizza, a planet, bows, etc.), a gemstone-and-lips-and-breakfast-food-printed paper crown, and a flexidisc (had to google that…ugh, I’m so uncool) with songs by Supercute! and the Dum Dum Girls.
Rookie is blessed with a wonderfully diverse selection of contributors – including delightful famous people like Karen Elson, Paul Rudd, and Zooey Deschanel – who address issues that are both specific to many teenage girls but also relevant to those outside that category. I myself am no longer an adolescent – thank god – but often end up spending hours at a time on Rookie, reading one article after another about universal issues like bullying, body image, and tips on how to cure a crappy mood. There’s also a lot of light and fun stuff like fashion editorials, D.I.Y. guides, and makeup tutorials, but what makes Rookie so special is that it is intensely personal, and every story feels like something only a good friend who trusts you would tell you.
At the reading and signing on Saturday, Tavi shared her brilliant “How to Bitchface” tutorial, which is important information for everyone to know. The variation I use most frequently is the simple but effective Repulsed Bitchface, but Tavi goes over more advanced ones as well. Anna Fitzpatrick read an abridged version of “On the Outside Looking Out,” a highly relatable narrative about the difficulties she experienced trying to fit in and be ‘cool’ in high school.
Afterward, I got to meet Hannah, Anna, Petra, and Tavi, who all wrote sweet messages in my book like “You’re awesome!” They were so cool that I almost wish I could be a teenager again, if only to be able to consult the Rookie Yearbook One during my fashion crises, decorate my binder with some pizza stickers, and put on that gemstone-and-lips-and-breakfast-food-printed paper crown when I’m feeling ordinary.