Tavi Gevinson (you know, the 11 year old who became a famous fashion blogger and now, aged 17, runs Rookie Mag) recently made a speech in Australia (which you can watch here > *** and please Lord, do, it’s quite fabulous) all about fangirling, creativity and oh-so-fetch teen angst. Right now, my mum thinks I’m working. She’s probably going to read this later and realise that I’ve spent the last hour watching said speech and being totally transported into a new way of thinking. Tavi is 17. I am 16. That’s a year (and a hell of a lot of other stuff) that separates us and makes us two completely different people with different interests and friends and accents (she’s American – I’m jealous). But this is the first speech (found by the usual means of procrastination) that I’ve actually sat and listened to all the way through. I know. I realise I’m using a lot of brackets here, but quite frankly my mind is going into overdrive thinking about all the things I’ve just heard. For someone so young, Tavi is really figured out. And yet she’s so completely open to what it is that she’s ‘figured out‘ changing. My personal highlight of the speech? She said this:
“Artists are, according to history, not the most reliable people. Meaning changes. It’s malleable. It’s interpreted differently by everyone.”
I suppose I relate to that so much because I’ve often found myself being somewhat jokingly called a “hypocrite.” The reason for that is that as a young(er) teen, I had a Homer-Simpson-epiphany type moment where I decided that the best way to create a strong identity for myself was to express strong opinions. Naturally, this led to me being tripped up and reminded of these years later. When I was 10, the biggest sin in my eyes was wearing black with brown. Later on, the thought of black trousers with a tan belt became a fair bit less sickening. Eventually – half out of laziness and the other half sheer lack of funds – wearing the same trusty black bag with an outfit featuring that wonderful tan/brown hue became a regular occurance. My current pet hate is navy and black (though this mostly applies to tights – it’s a serious dilemma). Whilst I’m sure that being obsessive over co-ordinating colours is not what Tavi was talking about, it’s what jumped to my mind and is therefore my own unique interpretation of it (maybe – speak up fellow clash-packers!).
I suppose what I got from her speech (which by the way is only half an hour – the rest is like a Q&A/interview/general chat and expression of musings) is that it’s okay to be different. But it’s also okay to be the same. I guess in our generation (I say ‘our’ but I imagine this isn’t really that new a feeling), there’s a lot of pressure to be unique coming from the sources who are and the people who wish they were. Lady Gaga got it right, I think, when she said “baby you were born this way.” Please don’t take that as a cringy Gaga reference for the sake of embellishing a post. Actually, do.
It’s easy to forget in a world where Pharell’s hat has it’s own Twitter parody account (as do Anne Hathaway’s nipples), that whilst it’s great to be different and stand out from the crowd, it’s also great to just be who you are and – as my new girl crush Tavi says – “own it.” It would be rude of me to miss out at this point the clichéd soundbite of Oscar Wilde; “be yourself, everyone else is taken.” And for me, that really sums it all up. Even if you think ‘yourself’ as boring or lacking in quirks, that’s what makes you you, and to supress that would be to deprive yourself of the most unique part of yourself. I would quote One Direction now but I think that may just be a keyboard-click too far.
And so it is without further ado, that -inspired by Tavi’s speech – I am renaming the “General” section of my blog, “Bella’s World.” It’ll be kind of like Wayne’s but minus the spontaneous yet eerily well-rehearsed renditions of Bohemian Rhapsody. What I really feel like my blog has been missing up to this point is a personal touch – my own little kiss of approval (I’d normally say stamp but hey). I’ve got reviews and inspiration/style etc. but now I’ll also have a little corner carved out especially for snippets constant internal monologue. You know what? I think “Bella’s Corner” has a better ring to it. It’s time to stop seeing my blog as a finished product, because what it really is – and I suppose what it always will be – is a work in progress. After all, art and meaning are malleable; so that’s what m blog will be – my own little chunk of Play-Doh ready to be moulded into a little outward projection of my life.