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Editor’s Letter

April 2013: Age of Innocence

apriledlettmain

Hi Rookies! April’s theme is Age of Innocence. But, more important, we have a few new items going up in the Rookie shop in the coming weeks that I wanna tell you about because I am STOKED:

Rookie Axe™
Here at Rookie, we firmly believe that women can do whatever they want, and that includes smelling like a 12 year-old boy. We’ve collaborated with Axe to bring you a scent that will make you feel especially…strong and stuff the next time you buy shoes, give birth, or march for voting rights. Feminism!

Rebel Boy: A Men’s Rights Zine
I get that some things are really hard for women, but does anyone ever think about the men? One of my favoritest authors, Tucker Max, wrote and printed this manifesto on men’s rights in the style of the classic Riot Grrrl zines of the ’90s. In it, you’ll learn all about the issues men face every day, like women not laughing at their jokes and being mad about rape and stuff. Features contributions from Rookie heroes Daniel Tosh and Seth MacFarlane.

Vintage Maxipads
We’ve always been strong advocates of wearing vintage clothing on this here Rooks. Stuff you can get at a thrift store is usually simply the cutest and the cheapest. Why stop at clothes, though? We’ve all scavanged our favorite secondhand haunts for adorable vintage maxipads to make available for you. We found every color from brown-beige to pale-beige, and promise that they’ll boost your self-love.

OK, April Fool’s. For real, here is some of the email I sent our staff when it was time to start working on this month, which should give you an idea what’s in store:

One of the mixed blessings of being 20 and 21 and even 23 is the conviction that nothing like this, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, has ever happened to anyone before.
—Joan Didion, Goodbye to All That, 1968

This should not be a whimsical, infantile idea of innocence. Anaheed said innocence is safety. I’d say it’s stuff like safety and comfort and unjadedness and openness. Though ironically for me, I always thought the world was out to get me until pretty recently. I was much more cynical at 11 than I am at 16, somehow. So with the loss of innocence can also come maturity. All of it is kind of bittersweet.

What happens when you realize that your SUPER SPECIAL, NEVER HAPPENED TO ANYONE EVER BEFORE EVER experiences actually did happen to other people, maybe even millions of them? Like, sometimes I see annoying people from my school posting selfies with their significant others on Instagram and it’s like, UGH, HOW CAN YOU AND I BE FEELING THE SAME THING? SURELY MY RELATIONSHIP IS MUCH MORE NOBLE AND PURE, AS WE DO NOT USE THE KELVIN FILTER! For a while this kind of thing bothered me, and now I just feel sort of united to the human race and the fact that love is kind of the basis of its existence. Or at least hormones are.

This feeling also comes up when something popular is deemed relatable and you’re quick to hate on it because you want to believe you’re too special for something that all these people and publications also relate to. I used to get way protective about stuff like this, but lately I’ve come to find it actually really nice that some element of some TV show can resonate with both me and my polar opposite/probable arch nemesis.

Also! I think feelings of competitiveness/jealousy go away when you start to truly desire just AS MANY GOOD THINGS IN THE WORLD AS POSSIBLE. Then the next time someone else is good at something like you are, your attitude is less “but I’m the resident pole vaulter” and more “TWO people this good at pole vaulting can exist? Yay the human race!” So I guess that’s losing your innocence: realizing that you are not special. And then maybe realizing that that’s OK; that life is not, in fact, you versus the world.

Do you lose your innocence all at once? Like, is it your first kiss, the first time you have sex, the first catcall, first time you drink/smoke? Is it gradual? What about when you’re robbed of your innocence—when some external factor has a part in its loss? Where do you go from there? Do you just delve into whatever you think adulthood is, or do you go back to childhood as much as possible? There were websites devoted to counting down to the moment Mary-Kate and Ashley would turn 18, and much to the disappointment of creeps everywhere, they proceeded to dress like frumpy old ladies. Other girls, upon finding that they’ve become women, just want to look childlike again.

I often feel that life is a series of events that each require your asking yourself if you’d rather remain blissfully ignorant, or if you’d like to follow the sometimes scary path to finding truth. A lot of the time it’s too late and you know that you’d be lying to yourself if you chose the former. And a lot of the time it’s OK to lie to yourself. I think a bit of delusional narcissism is necessary for most creativity, and certainly for sharing it. It’s probably delusional and naïve for ANYONE to think ANYONE ELSE should care what they have to say, but if you don’t think that, you wouldn’t make anything at all, and if you really love creating things and feel crazy when you’re not, that simply won’t do. How do you get there, as a creative person? How do you brainwash yourself? I mean, in a way, just existing is like this: realizing that you take up space, that sometimes less than great things come out of your mouth, the potential damage you could do to yourself and others. But if you don’t convince yourself that there’s something you can take out of or contribute to the world each day, you’d just never get out of bed in the morning, and most people who have the luxury of seriously considering such stupid existential crises (meeeee) have no reason to feel weighed down by the potential damage that’s out there anyways.

How do you go back to that place of innocence when you’re growing up? Not in an infantilizing way, but in a way where you can return to a state of wonder? My walk to school has become a ritual of kind of going back to that state, matching up the music on my iPod with my outfit and the weather and the buildings I pass, and when it’s perfect, I’m just like a five-year-old about it. I’m even more enthusiastic about and in awe of silly things as a teenager than I was as a child. When you’re little, your standards for the things that excite you aren’t low, but they are simple. It doesn’t take much. And while that’s a really beautiful thing, I think it’s even better, the feeling even stronger, when you have a broader spectrum of emotions to pull from and connect to something over. When you’re drawn to something not only because it’s happy and immediately gratifying, but also because it’s complex and often dark or sad. That’s why an album doesn’t sound special the first time, but really hits home once you’ve been through some stuff.

I hope you like it. As always, let us know if we miss anything, or create it and send it in to submissions@rookiemag.com.

Love,
Tavi

46 Comments

  • Beatrice April 1st, 2013 3:11 PM

    really thoughtful and funny, as always.

    http://aclosetofonesown.tumblr.com/

  • HollieLillian April 1st, 2013 3:15 PM

    Oh gosh i live in the UK and had to google ‘maxipad’ cause i had no idea what that was idk we don’t call them that here and i freaKed out and thought it was serious

    also i wrote on my blog about feeling naive while everyone else is growing up around me and not having a set group of friends and how my blog feels really narcissistic literally like half a week ago how wuuuuurd

    http://forthequainthearted.blogspot.co.uk/

  • darksideoftherainbow April 1st, 2013 3:25 PM

    i thought the colab with axe seemed a little strange but i have to admit, i was REALLY looking forward to buying it. also, when i saw about tosh, i was like, really? i just thought, oh well, to each his own. and then the pads really got raising an eyebrow and…then i was like, oh boy. you forgot april fools AGAIN. i’m SO gullible. it was good, tho bc it got a great laugh out of me haha! i’m going to be 26 this year and i can tell you that when i was younger, i definitely felt that certain things were only happening to me and that i was really different, and not in a good way. i see that my experiences and the things that i feel are not just happening to me now but for me, it’s been a lot more to do with the internet. i’ve been going through some really tough times (REALLY tough) with something that i swore was only me but when i googled it, i found blogs and question postings and even articles in psychology magazines that showed me that i’m not nearly the only person suffering through something. i hate to think of it as misery loves company, but sometimes it just really helps to know that you’re not alone. anyway, awesome editor’s letter and i’m very much looking forward to this month!

  • Kimono Cat April 1st, 2013 3:26 PM

    As some one who tries very hard to cling on to their innocence, and as a person who likes delicate pastel things, I suspect that I will love this month *so hard*.

  • heartshapedbox April 1st, 2013 3:26 PM

    omg i knew you were kidding when you said “…Rookie heroes Daniel Tosh and Seth MacFarlane”

  • moonchild April 1st, 2013 3:43 PM

    this is perfect but can i just say i was SO STOKED for the vintage maxipads? :’((((

    Gwen
    http://under-a-bridge.blogspot.com/

  • AliceinWonderland April 1st, 2013 4:17 PM

    Vintage maxipads could be an awesome band name, tbh.

    • Lily April 1st, 2013 7:07 PM

      “Next on the roster for The Coolest Ever Bands Music Festival is the number 1, chart-topping, group of goddesses… THE VINTAGE MAXIPADS!” *croud roars with excitement*

      Yeah that’s totally an awesome band name.

  • @sarahspy April 1st, 2013 4:37 PM

    aaaaa you had me right up until “…Rookie heroes Daniel Tosh and Seth MacFarlane” !! hilarious

  • chawi April 1st, 2013 5:02 PM

    every month the editor’s letter manages to make me smile, it’s too cute

    http://sunshines-and-blue-skies.blogspot.co.uk/

  • kathryn-s April 1st, 2013 5:25 PM

    I really want to order a T-shirt. Will more size come in soon?

    Also, beautiful editor’s letter as always, Tavi. Are you guys still accepting submissions for April, or is the lineup already pretty full?

  • K8 is Gr8 April 1st, 2013 5:27 PM

    Trying to phase out of my innocent self that everyone *thinks* I am, and into the mature, self-confident person I really am! Hope this month will help! ;)

  • goma April 1st, 2013 5:34 PM

    Thanks Rookie! I have been waiting just forever for the Rookie Axe. I have always wanted to smell like the boys locker room!

  • unicorn April 1st, 2013 5:51 PM

    I loved the idea of Rookie Axe.
    LOVED IT.
    And then I checked my text messages.
    Oh, look, my friend woke up with a British accent! And conservative church girl is going to dye her hair magenta and get her nose pierced! And we are getting an extra week of spring break!
    April Fool’s Day.
    Well played, Rookie.
    But seriously, Rookie Axe sounds kind of awesome. We could find fellow Rookies by scent. Which isn’t creepy at all.

  • InProgress April 1st, 2013 6:08 PM

    ….shucks. I was actually excited for the Rookie Axe :] Still stoked for this months theme, though!

  • Cactus Woman April 1st, 2013 6:21 PM

    I can’t wait for the rest of this month. It’s a great theme!

    I think Rookie is probably the best place to discuss the Age of Innocence and what it means for each of us. I expect tears and laughter, and lots of each.

    Also, I reallyreallyreally want/need to submit something(s).

  • jenaimarley April 1st, 2013 6:26 PM

    I love the way you talk about the Age of Innocence, Tavi!

    It is such a self-contradictory period of time identity. Children are simulatneously pure and (accidentally?) evil, immature and wise. And as we move passed this age, I feel like we pine for it and are overwhelming glad it’s gone at the same time.

    I keep thinking of books like Atonement and Mathilda Savitch! Is there a place for submissions concerning ideas for books/movies (but not originally produced pieces) like that?

    I look forward to this month!

  • pamplamousse April 1st, 2013 6:27 PM

    Am I the only one who got excited and thought I’d have a cool axe to take camping…? If Rookie sold rhinestone encrusted axes I would be alllll over that.

    • Tourdivoire April 2nd, 2013 9:57 AM

      No you’re not! I was thinking about how cool it would be to have a Rookie Axe this summer at camp (I’m a girl scout leader), and how I could use it to a) chop wood, and b) trigger conversations with the girl scouts about girl power…

      Anyways I’ve been looking forward to this month more than any Rookie theme before, plus I’m turning 25 on the 27th which, apparently, is supposed to mean ‘no more innocence for you young lady’ which I strongly disagree with, sooooo… You get it. It’s going to be the best month ever.

  • Lea April 1st, 2013 7:01 PM

    I love how you make existential questions hilarious. Now is the time to admit that I live for the editor’s letter, always makes my day <3

  • MissKnowItAll April 1st, 2013 7:10 PM

    ily Tavi

    Do you guys take suggestions for future themes?

    • Tavi April 1st, 2013 9:39 PM

      ily MissKnowItAll

      Why not? Tell me!

  • Mags April 1st, 2013 7:57 PM

    It’s true. I’m in my 20s, and I have regularly found myself to be more in awe of simple things, like stars in the sky or a really cool-looking leaf, than I was when I was a kid.

  • quirkflower April 1st, 2013 8:56 PM

    “For a while this kind of thing bothered me, and now I just feel sort of united to the human race and the fact that love is kind of the basis of its existence. Or at least hormones are.”

    THIS. SO MUCH THIS.

  • Alexx April 1st, 2013 9:38 PM

    “It’s probably delusional and naïve for ANYONE to think ANYONE ELSE should care what they have to say, but if you don’t think that, you wouldn’t make anything at all, and if you really love creating things and feel crazy when you’re not, that simply won’t do.”
    I think this is probably EXACTLY what i needed to hear today. I probably won’t be able to listen to that advice right away, but at least it makes sense to me ! I love that people write things like this SO MUCH because if it weren’t for having read this now, I would probably still be beating myself over how dumb i’ve been lately for being too paranoid to talk to anyone instead of seeing that I CAN change that and that I SHOULD. So to whoever wrote this and decided to put this up: THANK YOU.

    AND.. OMIGOSH I CAN’T EVEN GET OVER THE FACT THAT THERE’S GONNA BE A ROOKIE AXE. just kidding haha, that was a great April Fool’s prank :)

  • Alexx April 1st, 2013 9:42 PM

    edit: oops. I hadn’t realized that Tavi said that she wrote it in the article itself. wow..
    But anyways, thanks for being so awesome Tavi! You really lifted my mood!

  • Janelle April 1st, 2013 10:59 PM

    I was VERY excited about Rookie Axe.
    Can this please be a thing?
    PLEASE?
    It could be a thing… They could sell it at Urban Outfitters…

  • Nikilodeon April 1st, 2013 11:41 PM

    this is perfect. i love the theme and the concept. i just recently watched rise of the guardians and when santa said his core was wonder, i kind of became a kid again. throughout the whole movie and for the next few days i was captivated by everything and felt the same wonder and awe and innocence that i did as a kid. it sounds crazy, but i found myself believing in magic again after watching all my childhood heroes and mythical figures come together in that movie.

    wow, rookie goes through the exact same things i do every. single. month. almost creepy, but mostly cool.

  • sepiawriter April 2nd, 2013 12:04 AM

    This was a great letter, something nice to read at the end of the day :)

    Innocence is something that has been on my mind lately, and more so now that I’m about to turn 18. I feel like even though adolescence is supposed to be that age between being a child and an adult, it’s so complicated (or do we just make it that way?). Some of us wish we could go back to that state of simplicity that was childhood, but some can’t wait to lose any remaning trace of innocence. I don’t know, it’s just something very interesting to observe, there’s a lot to say about innocence!

    Anyways, can’t wait to see what this month’s theme brings.

  • unicornconnect April 2nd, 2013 12:27 AM

    Yes, I can definitely relate to the whole “yuck this is popular and those annoying people like it so I can’t like it cause I’m way too cool for dat bros.”
    also! Tavi, when you liked one of my photos on Instagram I did a little dance filled with happiness.
    The end

  • ♡ reba ♡ April 2nd, 2013 4:54 AM

    how is it that the rookie themes always seem to come at exactly the right time for my ~feelings~/ maybe its just great timing with the ending of secondary school (or high skewl 4 americans) also tavi, where does all your WISDOM and articulateness come from? i want it

  • Mary the freak April 2nd, 2013 5:52 AM

    I love you,tavi, and this, so much. it is seriously so beautiful. and i am very exited for the new stuff in the store! i think i lost a huge part of my innocence when my parents got divorced. and i gain my innocence back with glitter and unicorns, haha.

    http://birdiewearsatie.blogspot.com/

  • eliza dolittle April 2nd, 2013 7:21 AM

    we were just discussing childhood, sexuality and the construction of “innocence” last week in my gender studies course, so i am really excited to see the various perspectives you guys publish this month ^.^

  • whodatgal April 2nd, 2013 11:08 AM

    aw Tavi I love you <3 this was soo beautiful and eloquent xxxxxxx

  • periwinkle_dreams April 2nd, 2013 11:46 AM

    The whole innocence/maturity thing is really interesting to me…I’m turning 19 soon, and I’ve been thinking lately about how I’ve never had some huge shift in how I feel about/view myself. Like, I’ve always “felt” the same age, I guess. I still see adults as in a different category than I am, and I wonder if that’ll ever change. When I’m 30, will I see 60-year-olds as adults and myself as just…me? Right now 25 is what I consider “woman” status – like, I could see myself saying “she’s a 24-year-old girl” but when I talk about someone who’s 25, I think I could only call them a woman cause girl would sound too juvenile, you know? But I have a sneaking suspicion that when I’M 25, I won’t feel like I’ve magically achieved adult status; I’ll just think about myself in the same terms I always have.

    Anyways, to sum up – I like this theme :)

  • rachele April 2nd, 2013 11:48 AM

    heh heh tavi casually references her romantic bliss amidst caps-ridden faux angst

  • enthusiastictruckdriver April 2nd, 2013 12:02 PM

    Tavi, the letter you wrote to the staff is the most beautiful thing in the world. It is exactly what I needed right now and it brought tears to my eyes (overemotionality linked to menstruation or legitimate feeling of connection with the universe???? We may never know).

    I guess part of losing your innocence is letting go of the desire to preserve that fleeting feeling of being a special snowflake. In middle school, when I barely had any friends who shared my interests, all my self-esteem came from the awareness that I am THE ONLY KID IN SCHOOL WHO LISTENS TO THIS BAND or whatever. When I went to high school, I suddenly discovered people with the same interests who were more creative/intelligent/attractive/socially aware, and that really freaked me out and lowered my self-esteem, which sounds horrible and selfish but that’s what happened. Once I was able to get over that selfishness, though, I realized how blessed I am to be surrounded by people smarter than me who love the same things as I do, so I guess that selfish pride has turned into something much, much better, even though getting there required a lot of self-loathing and feeling inferior to pretty much everyone for the majority of freshman year.

  • PJ Barker April 2nd, 2013 12:50 PM

    i loved the article! basically sums up how every teenage girl feels at one point or the other. but i’m not sure about the men’s rights mag.. especially being that the names of daniel tosh and seth macfarlane were mentioned, who are both notorious for telling not only extremely sexist and misogynistic jokes but many a racially prejudice joke too. i hope this men’s right’s issue is a joke, considering the issue of men’s right’s is a joke.

  • TinyWarrior April 2nd, 2013 5:00 PM

    I have some photos I want to send in, but is there a limit for how many I can send? (I’m trying to decide which ones to use, so if there’s a maximum number I should know about, that’d be helpful). Right now I have 18, but I could send less.

    • Anaheed April 2nd, 2013 5:07 PM

      Can you send smaller versions of all of them, to make sure they all come through?

  • victoria April 2nd, 2013 8:18 PM

    the Didion quote just sealed it because Goodbye To All That is the best?! (not really leaving a questionmark there because how could there be a question about the greatness of that essay?)(.)

  • cloudinthesky April 3rd, 2013 11:15 AM

    I’m so looking forward to this month’s articles, it’s just the perfect theme… <3

  • strawberryhair April 4th, 2013 12:23 PM

    I think there should be a Literally The Best Thing Ever on the themes you guys choose for each month. xxxxxxxxxxx

  • MabelEnchanted April 4th, 2013 3:46 PM

    A bit late but I fell for that april fool..I’m so gullible.
    I might have something I want to share for next month’s theme but I’m not sure if it’s suitable..I don’t know, I’m scared to haha. It’s the most recent post on my blog so yeah…

    http://mabelsmind.blogspot.co.uk/

  • mollyjane April 7th, 2013 3:35 AM

    TAVI wahh i want to put you in my back pocket and carry you around all day so we can talk endlessly about everything ever. im like two years older than you but we could still be friends right? you mentioned you have the youngest sibling syndrome so i see some serious friend potential here.

    okay beyond that, i REALLY like that you posted this letter. because sometimes i feel cheated when the editor’s letter is short, and it makes the readers feel special being put on the same level as the super cool staff members. and yeah, you should do this more often!

  • yellowplaid April 21st, 2013 10:58 AM

    Happy 17th Birthday Tavi! Enjoy your innocence!
    Happy Happy Birthday! lol. : D