Wednesday, August 25, 2010

tavi and sassy

Click on the image of the video to view it..

I love Tavi. I think she's great and well, along with most people I think, I'm in awe of her. There was a brief spell last year when I didn't really get the fuss, I didn't go a bundle on her personal style and seeing a 13 year old so entrenched in the fashion world kind of freaked me out; could children not be children anymore? But then I watched some of the videos of her speaking at various conferences and gave her more of a chance, catching up with her writing and I was in love. This video is half an hour long but is such easy watching and is so inspiring. Tavi is as cool and articulate as ever. She is generally kickstarting the same conversation that I and my friend Emily find ourselves having whenever we go to the pub (albeit Tavi in a much more comprehensive way) and I'm so proud that she's talking about putting Women's Rights back on the agenda for teenage girls. I used to get so frustrated when my peers at school would wrinkle their noses at the word 'feminist' which is just crazy because all feminism means is that you believe in equal rights so surely everyone regardless of gender should be able to call themselves a feminism without it being unjustifiably embarrassing.

Hearing her talk about Sassy Magazine actually taught me a lot. I know some of you will have cherished Sassy back in the day or since discovered it of your own accord but I've never known an awful lot about it. Tavi really delves in its history and I can't believe its taken me this long to notice the gaping hole in the magazine market when it comes to teenage girls reading something good. I think the closest we ever came to Sassy was Ellegirl which folded and seems tragic proof of the difficulty that comes with running a magazine that prioritises positive messages over adhering to the mainstream.What I really love about this talk is that Tavi continues to emphasise that girls want to read a magazine that is ultimately fun and isn't hard hitting but simply promotes values of self respect.

After she mentioned it I've gone away and googled the 'Dear Boy' feature which had famous male musicians offering readers the most stellar and cool advice. What's brilliant is that the answers revolve around them saying things like 'hey, this guy is clearly acting like an asshole and tell him I said so' rather than the samey gently-gently approach such a column would take in another magazine. Say, Cosmogirl's 'Ask Him Anything' as Mish Way points out.

Here are some of the best Dear Boy Q&As I foraged from here and here.
They are brilliant and reaffirm that those silly boys who act interesting one moment and then cool and aloof the next are just bad apples amongst a very good bunch.

Thurston Moore
There's this guy that I really like. He tells everyone that he doesn't even like me as a friend, but when we're alone together we do things that are reserved for people who think of each other as more than friends. What do I do? A friend, more, or less? Huntley, IL

The guy's a jerk. I know that won't discourage you from liking him, but he's got a major personality flaw: disrespecting you. Be careful of this kind of butthead, because his sleaze behaviour may rub off on you, and then your life will become more and more hellish. Next time you're alone with him and he tried to get "friendly," tell him your friend Thurston Moore wants to kick his ass. And then tell him why.

Deen Ween
I used to have a lot of friends last year, but this year all my friends are ditching me because I don't have a boyfriend yet. They say that I can come to their parties if I bring a guy. These girls are really funny and nice, and I still want to be their friend. What do I do? Boyfriendless and confused.

I've never heard of anything like that in my life. Go to the party alone, and leave with someone else's boyfriend.

Billy Corgan
I have a thing about Gary Oldman and what I don't understand is why no one else does. I'm 14 and no one understands! Does this mean I like older guys? Sophisticated in Shorewood, IL.

It's very funny that you ask me this, because my wife, Chris, has a thing about Gary Oldman. It started about four years ago. It was "Can we go see the Gary Oldman movie?" And "Can we rent this Gary Oldman movie?" And of course she saw Dracula right when it came out. If Gary Oldman showed up at our door, she would start packing. So you are not alone. Liking Gary Oldman does not neccessarily mean you like older men. Gary Oldman is not old or young; he is Everyman at every age.

Here's my problem. Whenever my boyfriend and I go out, I have to pay for everything. I work and he doesn't, so if I want to do something I have to pay. It's starting to make me really mad. How can I get him to start paying his fair share? Becoming broke.

This slacker scourge is ravaging the minds of our youth. Tell this guy to get motivated Tony Robbins style: "Yesterday is a canceled paycheck. Your maximum point of power is now."


Anonymous said...

please don't take this the wrong way, but it's something i keep noticing in your posts...

you always write 'it's' for possessive. its is never possessive! its only has an apostrophe when it's (!) 'it is'! 'it's history' is plain wrong! you always make this mistake!

Clara said...

The video of Tavi is streaming really slowly but I'm still behind on the Style Rookie phenomenon but hopefully (once this video buffers) I can get some kind of insight into her blog's success.

These dear boy Q&A's are BRILLIANT! They seriously need to make a come back.

hannah-rose said...

this 'dear boy' thing is hilarious! i'm still chuckling over the beck one! if there was a magazine that got rockstars to do that I would go wild, it's just so clever, and the best way to combine advice with celebrity with humour with fun. Everything I know about sassy I've learnt from a friend of mine who is obsessed with it, so i'm no expert either, but I think Tavi is doing a good thing trying to resurrect it! God knows teenage magazines right now aren't all that (seventeen? anyone?)


Ally said...

Love the Dear Boy feature!! and Tavi really is doing something amazing, it's great to have a teenage girl who is so vocal and unapologetic, I'm in awe. Hope one day she does launch a Sassy-esque publication.

Annie said...

I dont know about sassy (I know this isnt an excuse, I'm a year older than tavi) but and I personally dislike her personal style QUITE strongly. BUT I LOVE her writing and her blog and her very very fresh point of view and I dont think she is overrated one little bit

Miller said...

I used to love Ellegirl! I still have them all in a box. I remember make up tips where they'd say things like, "people might stare but who wants to blend into the crowd?" There was always a great message of celebrating your individuality. Oh man, I wish it was around. I'm gonna watch Tavi's video now cos she's awesome.

Bojana said...

Oh how I loved ElleGirl! I was even more sad when it folded down because I was supposed to be featured in their next issue ( thanks to mystylediary, the ancestor of in a way) but then they sent me a mail saying there would be no more ElleGirl ahh!
I still read the Dutch one though.

And how didn't you mention teenvogue! Now it's just all about twilight/disney shit but it was a true inspiration for me years ago....

Ahh. Keep posting, S! Interesting feature :)

Sarah said...

I've always loved your blog, but this is one of my favourite EVER posts! I'm a huge, huge Sassy fan (there's a great book you can buy from Amazon about how it changed people's lives) and I miss snarky, feminist writing for teens. I used to write for a teen mag and it made me die a little inside to have to always do girly girly fashion features and write about pop stars. Those things aren't bad, but without balance they allow girls such a narrow and stereotypical worldview..