After the media blitz of 2010, in which industry opinion oscillated from adoration to slow-burning hatred, Tavi could have very easily tumbled back into obscurity. However, by sticking to her guns and focusing on her passion project—Rookie, an online magazine inspired by the now-defunct Sassy—15-year-old Gevinson continues to succeed in an overpopulated space.
“People think it’s just going to be another site or magazine that talks about how great celebrities are or how awful celebrities are or dieting…And I’m like, ‘Just you wait and see,'” she portended to The New York Times in August, a month before the site’s launch.
The resulting “blog” (if you can even call it that) is almost too good: a characterization that may be the result of a teen whose comfort and adroitness with media clearly eclipses her contemporaries. “I think there’s this scrambling,” she told New York magazine in September. “That for people to feel like they’re a relevant or interesting person they have to be spouting out one-liners on Twitter every couple of hours…And it’s a really unique situation where, for once, it’s something that young people understand better than adults in a lot of ways, or are more used to it.”
An innate understanding of what readers want is what makes Tavi’s model so dizzyingly simple. “Rookie is kind of my response to [content for the sake of content] because we have three posts a day, and we plan everything a month ahead of time.” Despite her old-school approach to digital publishing (which she attributes to having class between the hours of 9 am and 3 pm), Rookie‘s headlines defy timeliness by being newsmakers instead of SEO-friendly aggregates.
“I’m in school,” she says flippantly. “I can’t be at my computer all day.”