Tuesday, June 2, 2015

TED Talk Tuesday: Tavi Gevinson is Still Figuring it Out

I'm dedication this blog post to the teens who make up our Teen Think Tank at the Writers' Loft. They are amazing girls who are definitely still figuring it out, but so unique, imaginative, and powerful in their own right!

This TED Talk grabs onto the portrayal of women and girls in pop-culture (mostly movies and TV) and looks at how often even the strongest female roles are one-dimensional. A cautionary tale for anyone writing about women/girls in their novels.

It's like Tavi jumped inside my head and ferreted out my beef with the Spice Girls. (Oh, does that date me?)

Check it out:

Can't see the TED Talk? Click through here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6osiBvQ-RRg

We all want to write multi-dimensional characters, whether female or not. Tavi says it's all about the flaws, and I agree.

And it's something we're all still figuring out--what makes a female character strong? Recently there's been an insurgent of kick-ass teens and women in books--are they complete, well-rounded characters, or one-dimensional super women?

Tavi is certainly figuring some of this stuff out. Check out her online magazine, Rookie.

I definitely think that the strong girl debate is a current one, but my favorite part of this TED Talk is her general attitude toward, well, everything. She's still figuring it out. It's okay to mess up when you are still figuring things out. Things aren't set in stone, not even what feminism means. It's a conversation. A fluid topic. Everything is.

I love it when she said she could get away with anything if she said she's still figuring it out. That's a great life mindset to have!

Let's adopt Tavi's mindset and get away with everything!


  1. I read Lucy Knisley's graphic novel "An Age of License" this morning on the bus. It's a slightly older version (she was in her mid-twenties when she wrote/drew the book) of similar themes. I recommend it.

    (And I still haven't figured things out. Every time I thought I was finally doing so, something came up and smacked me upside the head to remind me that I hadn't. Having now given up on every figuring things out, I find I'm a much happier person)

  2. Ha! Tom, I have gone the other direction, I'm going to be figuring stuff out until I die. I mean, I don't think I have anything officially figured out (and probably won't ever). Also, I went up to my college alma mater to graduation, since my mom wanted to see the speaker, and I identified with the kids graduating. At some point during the ceremony, I had the TERRIBLE realization that I MUCH closer to the role of parent of graduating college student than I am to the role of college student. LE SIGH. Let me repeat, I have nothing figured out. :)

  3. Wow. Can I just say how inspiring Tavi is??? I soooooo wish we had teen girls like this when I was trying to figure out my place in the world. Not that, even at my age, I've actually figured that out. LOL But what I have figured out is that I'm a constant evolution and that being a girl is okay. It's more than okay and more than the one-dimension most of the world perceives. I'm really glad the girls of today have someone assertive enough to stand up and say what she means. She doesn't give guidelines, just inspiration so they can find their questions and answers on their own. <3

  4. My post today is also about the Strong Female Character and how there's so much more to it than just letting her be able to hit and shoot people.

    Overall, I'm glad that there's starting to be more of a trend toward offering audiences strong female characters. It's just that... they now all seem to be interchangeable. :-/