Masthead-climbers, rest assured: Editorial wunderkind Tavi Gevinson would rather be a Beyoncé scholar than the editor-in-chief of Vogue. Or so she revealed over the course of a 3,500-word, candidly conflicted interview with actress Emma Watson in Wonderland Magazine. First, Watson was conflicted on Gevinson’s behalf: She wants Gevinson to be the editor of Vogue one day, but she also would “hate to see [her] having to conform in any way?” To which Gevinson replied that she, too, has complicated feelings about the successful career she’s launched with Rookie:
“For the sake of our community it is really important to be this online accessible publication … [N]ot that anyone is kind of knocking on my door right now but I don’t think I’d ever want to be like heading a magazine that has this legacy that goes back for so many decades. I’d maybe rather be a friend with that editor-in-chief and you know like send them links to things.”
Naturally, Gevinson and Watson are both obsessed with Beyoncé’s new album — but also conflicted! Watson said:
“As I was watching [the videos] I felt very conflicted, I felt her message felt very conflicted in the sense that on the one hand she is putting herself in a category of a feminist, but then the camera, it felt very male, such a male voyeuristic experience of her and I just wondered if you had thoughts about that or if you had any of your own thoughts about any of it really …”
Gevinson had a lot of her own thoughts about all of it. Here’s a sampling:
“Beyoncé is not perfect even though she is kind of a badass but I think it is very generous of her to work these things out publicly, to you know, have the songs that include the sample of like a Ted Talk about feminism. I think it is very generous of her to let us see her relationship to feminism publicly and I think that if we are being really nit-picky there are definitely contradictions, but I’m mostly just so thankful that album exists and for me it felt like real progress …
“I think she also makes it as known as she can without putting it in her music that her dad was her manager, she fired him, she started her own company, and she calls the shots. When I watch this album I feel like she is truly displaying her own sense of agency and it is hard to look at a lot of other pop stars right now and say the same, which I don’t mean to sound condescending, and I’m obviously not one to argue that young women have self-awareness or autonomy but I do think there is something to be said for seeing Beyoncé’s sexuality being put into the context of a video with her kid in the Grown Woman video it feels like she is so in control, like you said.
“I am so glad you asked me about this because I want to be Beyoncé’s scholar and just talk about her all the time.”
Good thing Beyoncé scholarship is a viable career path now.