I Like Tavi

I’ve been officially trying for years not to care about Fashion because it is expensive and involves starving girls. But Tavi Gevinson, Style Rookie has just ended all of my objections with her good writing and her hungry little eyes. I read The New Yorker profile and was then sort of horrified to find myself on her blog looking up all her back posts. She’s a 14 year old from a house with grey siding near Chicago with non-fancy parents who somehow lives and breathes Comme des Garçons.

Unwelcome voices have been singing in my head all week, sort of like this: “This kid is safe from consumerism within an insanely consumerist context.” Is that really possible? “Within a space of pure desire, the yuckiness of the marketplace falls away.” Wait a minute, that’s ridiculous! Am I really thinking this stuff? Yep.

I’m going to requote Tavi’s 100th blog post, as I read it in The New Yorker:

“In my opinion, the most interesting fashion is the Anti-Fashion. No rules, no restrictions, no normalcy, no pleasing anyone…I might be less attracted to the entire ‘chic’ deal because, as a younger person, I do gravitate more towards tackier clothes. That being said, I’m twelve! I have no one to impress and I’m not concerned about wearing something flattering to my body. I will dress as ugly and as crazy as I want as long as I’m still young enough to get away with it. Suckerssss.”

I know that it’s terrible what has happened to art in our culture, how despite best efforts of several generations of artists, everything an artist makes or does or thinks about is still for sale, so of course the gallery system is corrupt, MFAs are a racket, and every trustee of a supposedly cool museum is just there propping up the value of their art collection. But I don’t want to think about that stuff. I want to think about beautiful, insane paintings and dinosaur boots. I might be one more Style Rookie post away from draining the last drop of Quaker/Protestant aesthetic guilt out of my veins. Then I’m going to go make absolutely whatever kind of painting I want.

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