Rookie is an editorial alt-site aimed at teenage girls -- and although it's only been live for a week-ish, press and congratulations have spread all the way down the internet's tendrils. The site is the brainchild of blogger Tavi Gevinson. Let's pull back for a moment: Tavi Gevinson is 15. She's been a fashion blogger since she was 11; she's a mainstay on VIP lists at Fashion Week; she's been featured in Teen Vogue and Pop. Now she's the editor-in-chief of an extremely promising website that's already featured contributions from Joss Whedon, Patton Oswalt, and a bunch of other pop culture luminaries. Compare and contrast! When I was 15, I was eating chicken patty sandwiches in my East Tennessee high school's cafeteria, trying to carve out a niche for myself as the girl who wears Clash t-shirts -- but also corduroys from Abercrombie & Fitch! Holy Christ, let's change the subject.
The point is, I both can -- and can't -- believe it's taken this long to develop an online repository of good writing and sound advice for smart, curious teenage girls with atypical interests. When I was coming up, we had Jane -- which was geared towards a slightly older audience -- and a bunch of pandering crap designed to plant seeds of anxiety and insecurity, all in the name of selling products.
But it doesn't take a lot of digging to find like-minded people, even if you're in a small town in the South and fall somewhat outside teen girl norms. I made plenty of close friends in high school, all of whom I've remained close to, all of whom have grown up to be amazing, confident, successful women. Yet even with that support system, at some point before starting college it would have been amazing to have felt like part of a larger group. The internet might be warping journalism and the written word in some detrimental ways, but one of the things it does far better than print is foster -- and sustain -- communities built around shared interests. Kudos to Tavi for pinpointing a community that's waited far too long to be united and addressed in earnest. If Rookie had been around when I was in high school, I might've shed those Abercrombie cords a little sooner (I totally wore that Clash shirt yesterday, though).