Stylist talks feminism and make-up with influential editor and actress Tavi Gevinson
In her 19 years, Tavi Gevinson has packed in a lot. At 11 she started her own fashion blog, at 13 she sat on the front row at New York Fashion Week. When she was 16, she starred alongside Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the brilliant film Enough Said.
But she’s most lauded for Rookie, her online magazine which launched in 2011 and provides an innovative take on everything from fashion and tech to music and beauty (it amassed one million views within its first five days).
It also makes Tavi the ideal person to discuss what beauty means to a new generation of women…
“Beauty and feminism can happily exist together…”
People think of beauty as frivolous because it mainly addresses the concerns of women. But the fact is, everyone worries about how they look, everyone is insecure – women are just more creative about finding solutions for it. I don’t feel conflicted about the fact that I feel more presentable when I make up my face.
“Wearing make-up can empower you to feel better about yourself”
Every time there’s been a big change in my life, the way I get excited about it is by changing my style. It’s the most literal representation of who you are. Beauty is a superpower and it can make you feel more confident about yourself, and about your place in the world.
“Comparing yourself to others is pointless”
I don’t know any 14-year-old girls who feel messed up because Kim Kardashian has really good cheekbones – we all know what’s going on there and actually, contouring is really fun. When I’m blown away by a woman’s beauty in a movie, it’s because she’s really giving herself over to the performance and it’s incredibly bold and striking.
“You don’t have to be perfect”
When the things you come to see as beautiful are interesting, nuanced or weird, then it becomes a lot easier to appreciate those things in yourself. I’ve come to realise that I don’t have to be perfect or pretty. Someone like David Bowie is such a role model because he used beauty and fashion as a medium to express something else. Other times, I love channelling those really bare Nineties Calvin Klein ads. It’s just about being yourself, and that’s great.
Tavi Gevinson is an ambassador for Clinique’s 3-Step Millenial Campaign