I didn't grow up reading Rookie. I was a young professional, with a salary and rent and health insurance (hmmm, maybe not actually that last thing) when Tavi Gevinson launched her site. If it was around when I was growing up, it would have been too cool for me anyway. ("Counter-culture" didn't exist in my small town; I'd never heard of riot grrrl until college.
Still, the end of Rookie is a heartbreaker, especially because it comes the same year that both Seventeen and Teen Vogue folded their print editions. When I was a kid, I had subscriptions to Teen Vogue and YM and ElleGirl and Cosmo Girl and Seventeen and, for the hottest second, Teen People. I did not have the internet. No one had the internet. My world was very small, and those magazines opened it in a big way.
Teen magazines were never perfect, especially not in the pre-woke aughts, and the tips and tricks and advice that seeped into my brain was not entirely beneficial. I didn't need to learn from Seventeen, at age 12, that low-fat cheese had 30 fewer calories than a slice of cheddar, or that those seemingly insignificant calories could add up to 10, or 15, or 20 extra pounds around my waist a year. I didn't need to learn, in 6th grade, how to give a mindblowing bl*w j*b in Cosmopolitan...which to be fair wasn't a teen magazine, but that didn't stop us from reading it in middle school.
Magazines gave me an education—sometimes too complete of one, in terms of oral sex, tysm Cosmo—about what it's like to be a girl in the world. I learned about expensive designers and indie bands and far-away countries that I'd never really considered were real places. More than that, I had a shelf full of valuable information to turn to anytime I had a question about something that I couldn't ask my mom or Google. Google didn't exist until 1998!
Lately I've been dealing with some big existential questions—ones that my mom or Google can't answer—so I turned to what I used to let guide me when I was half my age: A magazine quiz from a year 2000 issue of Seventeen.
(Yep, that byline is Sarai Walker-of-Dietland-fame! And yep, magazines were exactly as whitewashed as you'd think!)
Unfortunately, this quiz wasn't *quite* as revelatory as I was hoping. I wanted answers. I wanted advice. I wanted someone to tell me exactly who I am and what I should be and also why I'm like this?
I'm equal parts perfectionist (what girl isn't?), romantic (maybe true), observer (probably true), and peacemaker, which, fine if true, but I reject the love advice to "find a guy who motivates you." I'm good...!
Still, I did find this personality quiz to be somewhat helpful. For example, I, like Katie Holmes apparently, do need someone who will respect my privacy and leave me alone. (Which begs the question: Does Jamie Foxx give her the space she needs? I hope so.) And who couldn't use another reminder that perfectionism is Very Bad?
I'd love to know what you got, and I'd also love if you'd send this to your best friend who might like to know "what kind of girl" she/he/they* is, too. Until next week!
*teen magazines were veryyyyyy not gender inclusive, but that doesn't mean we can't be