How Rookie Changed the Internet for Girls and Women

Tavi Gevinson.
Tavi Gevinson. Photo: Walter McBride/Getty Images

Ten years after founding Style Rookie, the kid fashion blog that would later morph into online magazine Rookie, Tavi Gevinson, 22, announced in a heartfelt editor’s letter that she was folding the publication. The note, she wrote, would be “the last post on Rookie.”

“I am feeling about 100 emotions right now, and not all of them are sad: I would actually say that most fall under ‘gratitude,’ also ‘pride’ and ‘awe’ and ‘faith in humanity based on how this was able to even exist at all and go on for as long as it did,’” Gevinson writes in the six-page letter.

Rookie was often described as a “website for teenage girls,” and the publication was known for its explicitly feminist lens, refreshing approaches to classic teen magazine sections like “Dear Diary,” and alt-90s nostalgia. It was a publication through which many of today’s best writers, editors, photographers, and artists passed, many of whom cite Rookie as the site that helped launched their careers.

Gevinson writes that the decision to cease publication was not an easy one, but that it had come to seem like the only possible path. “Digital media has become an increasingly difficult business,” she writes, “and Rookie in its current form is no longer financially sustainable.” (While the publication is folding, the site will remain up for at least a few months.)

In the midst of reckoning with the current state of the media industry, Gevinson peppers in messages of nostalgia and gratitude, especially toward all of those who worked on, contributed to, or religiously read Rookie.

“[The] organicness of Rookie was in part a testament to the way people rallied around it: the contributors and readers who were willing to share pieces of themselves and support each other,” she writes — a sentiment former writers, editors, and fans echoed on Twitter, where they recalled what it was like to grow up with Rookie and spoke of its lasting impact.

How Rookie Changed the Internet for Girls and Women