Stand for Something

Meet six girls who are changing the world.


  • rats-for-candy September 23rd, 2013 3:21 PM

    This is the best.

  • lilagrace September 23rd, 2013 3:28 PM

    I just love this! Brilliant article AND photos!!! ♥

    • lilagrace September 23rd, 2013 3:50 PM

      Plus, I want some gold Dr. Martens!

  • idkman September 23rd, 2013 3:54 PM

    While I think this piece is great, and it is inspiring and fascinating to hear about these fabulous young ladies, and I know Rookie cannot sustain itself with no funds, it makes me sad to see a sponsored post. I love my Doc Marten’s, but it feels much less genuine to see this on such an honest site. I hope they didn’t influence the content at all, but even if they didn’t, it just doesn’t seem to go with the theme, with what Rookie stands for. Is it necessary to display a brand in front of a really important message?

    • Anaheed September 23rd, 2013 3:58 PM

      They didn’t tell us what to do–they helped us make this post and we are proud of it! It was made by Sandy and Jamia specifically for this month’s theme; I can’t think of much that would say VICTORY more, nor represent what Rookie stands for better, than the work these girls are doing.

    • saramarit September 23rd, 2013 7:16 PM

      I agree. The girls are telling us something important but you’ve also got them advertising some boots? The two messages don’t sit well together.

      • Anaheed September 23rd, 2013 8:12 PM

        I get what you’re saying, but I am into activism AND cute shoes, and I’d guess I’m not alone in this, you know what I mean? Also, we don’t talk about the shoes, we just credit them the way we would with any style post. I’m not trying to persuade you to come around to this way of thinking — I appreciate your preference for a purer kind of activist statement — I’m just explaining my personal take on this. It’s a really interesting question that we think about a lot.

      • purrr September 23rd, 2013 8:16 PM

        Companies have money.
        Honest websites have people that need to get paid.
        Honest websites have smart readers that know what’s up.

        When I first started reading Rookie, I was amazed as to how much “real” there is, compared to the less “real”, all “business” glamour teen magazines.

        After getting into online culture quite a bit, i noticed that many DIY artists – people my age, etc, were trying to score deals with big companies, with corporations. I bet you’ve seen it too.

        And as a reader, you’ve got two ways to think. Remember when Sonic Youth got signed to a label? Half their fans yelled “sellouts!” and half yelled “you go guys, take the money from the enemy!”

        I’m not saying that companies like DMs are “the enemy,” but they are definitely a name you wouldn’t want to mention in a DIY (web)zine to just get paid. The thing is, that’s what the readers think. The creators are just trying to get by. But they also have to calculate the reaction of the readers. And sometimes the negative reaction of a few readers can be worth it.

        Many people run blogs completely for free. Because of that, their writing is unstable, they go on hiatus, they set up paypal donation links, basically cyber-begging for money. Some people collaborate with corporations, which allows them to keep their work alive, and keep spreading the message. When Rookie worked together with UO, they received quite a bit of backlash. But the thing is – they received this backlash only because web culture has taught us to be critical.

        • Chloe22 September 23rd, 2013 8:39 PM

          I’m just glad they aren’t promoting Kmart!

    • QueenMab September 23rd, 2013 8:57 PM

      I think we should be happy when big companies support good things. What could be wrong with that. If it helps get these girls stories out there then that’s the important part, who cares if they did it in a way that you find tacky. I get what you mean, but I’m also glad that Rookie is more focused on getting good things out there than their are with being has “grass roots” and “indie” as possible.

      • Violet September 25th, 2013 7:37 PM

        What could be wrong with that is quite simple:
        when you start receiving money from a big company, you become a dependent of that entity. It’s not an opinion, it’s an observation – you need the money to live, therefore you take the money from the big company, therefore you make yourself dependent.
        It’s different than being supported by individuals I think – cause people have values, and they might want to support you financially in order to fight for such values.
        Companies on the other hand are NOT people, and by mere definition they exist in order to make a profit, that’s IT. Their ‘support’ is another word for ‘product placement’ and getting visibility within a target market segment, here teenage girls.

        What could go wrong – am not saying it does here, but it happens elsewhere – is that very big companies with means can make publishing entities become so dependent that they have enough power to influence the content of the publication, to THEIR liking.

        So far Rookie has been great in keeping a transparent dialog about it, and i doubt the editorial line got pressurized by its sponsors into changing.

        However, what if one of these amazing teen activists had been fighting against delocalized production of apparel in South Asian countries? Would Dr Martens have agreed to sponsoring the shoot?

        • Anaheed September 25th, 2013 7:39 PM

          I’m guessing they would have, since that is an important issue to them.

    • lilagrace September 23rd, 2013 8:58 PM

      I can definitely see your point!
      But – just talking about my first reading experience – I didn’t even think about the girls’ clothes/shoes when I read the article for the first time. I just appreciated that it was a sort of “eye candy” post combined with a “regular” Rookie article. (and how great is that?!)
      My first thought was “OMG these girls are to die for! I wasn’t even close to being that committed to such important issues when I was their age!” The being sponsored by a specific brand didn’t in any way influence the way I perceived the article, regardless of how cute these boots are. (and they are awfully cute!) But maybe that’s just me…

    • dandelions September 26th, 2013 4:05 PM

      I don´t think that is wrong that a brand sponsor a post, the wrong thing would be if the brand were a horrible brand that is not related with the cause. But if the brand is related with the cause, great from them. We really need different brands that bring positive messages and not just selling things. Rookie is a brand and is one of the best brands ever.

  • Ana September 23rd, 2013 4:16 PM

    I adore this shoot! <3

  • hejhej September 23rd, 2013 4:30 PM

    these girls are all so badass and inspiring! everyone looks super cool – i’m SO THERE for diamond’s lipstick.

    • lilagrace September 23rd, 2013 4:37 PM

      Yeah, right?! Just adore that lipstick!

      • Arabelle September 23rd, 2013 10:10 PM

        I’m glad you like! It’s OCC Lip Tar, for future reference. You can grab it at Sephora. :)

        • lilagrace September 23rd, 2013 10:32 PM

          Is that the Chlorophyll – shade?

  • Ting September 23rd, 2013 5:00 PM

    This is so amazing. I love seeing people of my generation recognized for doing something, especially girls, since I feel like older generations always criticize us and blame us for the problems we have today. So inspiring, and I loved the outfits and every bit of the shoot!

  • AidaA September 23rd, 2013 5:11 PM

    iduskhfkx this is an amazing shoot! The girls are really inspiring! Dr Martens are my fav. brand I have like five pair so far. Love this


  • izzybee September 23rd, 2013 5:11 PM

    omg these girls are amazing

  • flocha September 23rd, 2013 5:23 PM

    Just. Wow.

  • Willow G. September 23rd, 2013 5:35 PM

    green lipstick + doc martens = the best thing EVER

  • Meara.L.Lovegood September 23rd, 2013 5:54 PM

    Yes Irish Dancers! I know that’s not the point of this post, but its so lovely to see a kindred spirit <3

  • spudzine September 23rd, 2013 5:55 PM

    OMG THIS IS JUST SO. GOOD. These girls definitely deserve a gold star. I really liked how there were colored girls in this shoot, because us women of color can definitely be as stylish as a white model in a magazine. I really like the fact that these girls are doing something important, because it inspires me to strive to make a change, even though I’m only a teenager. They show that there’s nothing ‘only’ about being a teenage girl, and I really admire that about them. Also, the clothes were FAB by the way.

  • SparksLefty September 23rd, 2013 7:08 PM

    As awesome as this post should have been, I have to agree with idkman. Having been sponsored by doc martins made this come across as kind of undermining the girls’ achievements and activism. It kind of takes away from the emphasis on their leadership skills and intellect when you pair it with a focus on her physical appearance! I mean, come on guys. It’s kinda like-

    “Yeah she’s like, cool for taking a stand against sexual harassment and all, but really- LOOK AT HER CUTE SHOES! DON’T SHE LOOK PRETTY?! YOU SHOULD BUY THIS.”

    Sorry. I’m not into it.

    • emlyb September 24th, 2013 5:20 AM

      ughh, i agree. i REALLY get that rookie REALLY need to have sponsors etc., and i REALLY don’t mind sponsored content when rookie does it so infrequently and is so upfront about it.
      BUT, i just feel this was completely the wrong post to do it on.

  • SparksLefty September 23rd, 2013 7:13 PM

    That being said, kudos on including so many girls of color. It’s nice to see some diversity.

  • Tavi September 23rd, 2013 8:43 PM

    I’m glad you guys have shared how you feel about this and understand where you’re all coming from.

    We were approached by Doc Martens to do a sponsored post with their campaign, and we thought both their brand (which we’ve featured heavily on our own anyways! Example: and the campaign’s message fit with both the Rookie style and message. The campaign aims to spotlight teenagers who are doing something special and we were excited to be a part of it. We get offers to do sponsored content every day, and they are rarely as Rookie-ish or inspiring as this one was. To us that was a good thing.

    We have featured teen activists before without having to make money to sustain our site for it. We have also done stylized shoots where we feature people we admire instead of using models. We have also used Docs a lot on our own. This post did not in any way feel to us like a compromise of our style or message.

    It should be obvious that we need money to sustain Rookie. You are not charged to read it and we have a staff of about 80 writers, illustrators, photographers, and editors to support, plus the costs of running a website and holding events. To do a sponsored post that would help support our costs, that also feels right with who we are, that spotlights a handful of girls who are doing awesome things? We were excited to see an idea from an advertiser that felt like they actually understood us and what we like to do with our space. The fact that we make money off of it should not take away from Jamia’s thoughtful interviews, Sandy’s gorgeous photos, or the girls’ messages.

  • Chloe22 September 23rd, 2013 8:45 PM

    Am I the only one who didn’t just focus on the shoes? I mean, I went through the interviews, looked at the pics, and then saw the sponsored by Doc Martens thing. I fully enjoyed the article. If everyone needs to be so critical, then you better not complain when companies stop charity lines or activism promos. I certainly don’t think Rookie should start having every article sponsored. But we also need to realize what a good thing it is for a large company to support such a feminist empowering site. Isn’t that a good thing? Or is having super sexualized advertising campaigns that objectify models and never support charities or sites like Rookie a better option? If you don’t like corporate culture (me!) then why not celebrate when a company goes outside the box and supports something great?

  • sweetsweetsweat September 23rd, 2013 8:51 PM

    That blue lipstick is so rad. JESUS.

  • sweetsweetsweat September 23rd, 2013 8:52 PM

    I run a Women’s Discussion Group at my school and this stuff always inspires me.. :)

  • Laia September 23rd, 2013 9:09 PM

    this was so so so so cool.

  • thelilacparadox September 23rd, 2013 9:44 PM

    This is such a great article. Love the makeup, love the boots, love the message, LOVE IT ALL.

    Don’t hate, appreciate.

  • Abby September 23rd, 2013 9:52 PM

    Why are comments closed on the 7pm article today??? :(

    • Anaheed September 23rd, 2013 9:55 PM

      I have no idea! I will open them now!

  • clarekawaii September 23rd, 2013 9:53 PM

    I really loved this photoshoot, and I don’t think the sponsorship from Dr. Martens really changed how the article was perceived by me. When I look at these pictures I see 6 girls who are doing something badass to change the current state of their world, the message was a genuine one and no amount of sponsorship deals could take away from that. This was such a cool photoshoot, kudos Rookie!

  • Stephanie September 23rd, 2013 10:15 PM

    Thanks for making me aware of these amazing young woman! They are rock stars!

  • Alex S. September 23rd, 2013 10:25 PM

    10000% into this, so inspiring to know of young activists!

  • Jamia September 23rd, 2013 10:38 PM

    Thanks to everyone for your feedback. It was an honor to interview six dynamic and inspiring catalysts. In a media and advertising culture where girls and young women are often sexualized and rendered as sexual objects, I believe it is important to commend companies who provide healthier alternatives. I have wonderful memories about purchasing my first pair of Doc Martens in London when I was 12. I still have the same pair because they represent so many memories of first rebellions, protests, dance parties, and desert climbs with my friends. I stand by this piece and the amazing young women we profiled. I’m grateful that the support we received helps make it possible for this fabulous publication and community to thrive. LOVE, Jamia

    • OH NO September 24th, 2013 1:11 AM

      Jamia, your first rebellions, protests, dance parties and desert climbs were experiences that came from your own intellect and spirit—not from your shoes. I’ve admired your ethical commitment in your writing before, and your willingness to conflate principles with purchases in the minds of young readers makes me wonder if that admiration was misplaced.

      I feel like I need to approach Rookie more cynically now, and that is a total bummer.

      • Tavi September 24th, 2013 1:49 AM

        This could have been a cheap “be yourself!” shoot with Docs and studs and flannel, but we thought it would be cool to have an activist like Jamia conduct these interviews to give it substance so that we were ACTUALLY spotlighting the idea to stand for something. She directed us to these girls and asked them terrific questions. If her efforts and execution in this post or any of her other writing are now tainted for you because Rookie needs to make money like any other publication, I wonder if it’s your cynicism that’s misplaced.

      • purrr September 24th, 2013 5:35 AM

        there is absolutely nothing wrong with commodity fetishism. we do it all the time, i bet you do it and you’re not even aware of it. i understand the joy of not being sold anything, but this anger is misplaced. i think most people here are getting angry at the ideas they have tied to things like “sponsored posts”, “corporations”, “purchases” etc instead of what’s actually happening.

        if you’re not down with capitalism, you’re barking up the wrong tree.

        and also – you should have been approaching rookie cynically even before this post. and it shouldn’t be a bummer. because you should be critical of everything, but it shouldn’t interfere with your respect and/or adoration.

        (this is in response to OH NO, not Tavi, just in case)

    • ruby September 24th, 2013 6:27 AM

      This is a great post, and I love the campaign and the company – I always feel ready to take on the world when I am wearing my dms! Plus, I love the fact that they are gender-neutral, stylish AND practical to wear :)

      • Chloe22 September 24th, 2013 9:57 AM

        why is everyone acting like Rookie did a Kmart sponsored post? it’s getting kind of annoying. of all the big things happening in the world, is it really that big of a deal for Rookie to do a sponsored post? I mean, God! I loved this post, the shoes, everything. I found nothing wrong with it.

  • Collagingcolors September 23rd, 2013 11:53 PM

    Ilove this post sooooo much! it make feels like this world can change and be a better place with these amazing people!!!

  • Ktkellz September 24th, 2013 12:21 AM

    genuinely such beautiful, beautiful girls in this shoot.

  • ColoredSoft September 24th, 2013 12:53 AM guys are so awesome. I want to be like these guys.

  • sa93 September 24th, 2013 12:55 AM

    Woah this article was absolutely awesome! Loved the photoshoot, did not bother me it was a “sponsored” message. The shoes looked cool and the girls were even cooler.

  • wallflower152 September 24th, 2013 1:57 AM

    We get to read this site every day for free. I sure as hell hope the writers, photographers and artists are given the $ they deserve for their awesome content. The fact that Rookie was upfront that this post was sponsored is enough for it not to feel shady for me. They put it on the very first page of the slideshow and in the tags. If it was like fine print kinda stuff or wasn’t mentioned at all then I could see a problem. Anywhoo, great interviews and pics! I would love to do activist stuff. : )

  • saramarit September 24th, 2013 7:25 AM

    Yes of course Rookie needs to sustain itself, my criticism was of sponsored articles in particular.

    Linking to advertisers has the potential to undermine the integrity of Rookie. For example, there are teenage girls working in very poor conditions in garment factories throughout the world. If someone were to submit an article about this that implicated Urban Outfitters would Rookie be able to run it?

    There are some amazing ethical companies out there who would advertise on Rookie. There are other ways to make money, I’m a fan of the Rookie merchandise.

    Of course this is an article that would not have run in most other publications so props to Rookie for being what they are. And also for having editors that are willing to engage with their readers. This is what makes Rookie great and why I keep reading it.

    • saramarit September 24th, 2013 9:37 AM

      Rookie edited my comment where it mentioned Urban Outfitters. Thanks for proving my point Rookie.

      • Anaheed September 24th, 2013 9:59 AM

        I took out a part that would take too long for me to fact-check. I left in your other anti-UO statement. Not sure what point this proves except that I am busy.

  • Jamia September 24th, 2013 7:44 AM

    No conflation at all. My point was that I attributed symbolism to shoes that were a constant in my life when I moved a lot and went through so much. If the shoes had been free they would have been a metaphor just the same. No material defines who we are plain and simple and that was not my project. Do I want young women to be able to have this site and community and a sustainable model to build their work so this lives on? Yes. All companies are not created equal.

  • Julianne September 24th, 2013 9:39 AM

    Pic number 15 with all the subjects in NYC subway power hang makes me cry. I love this post so much, am so inspired.

  • Julianne September 24th, 2013 9:40 AM

    Also this is a dumb NYC inside baseball question but WHAT TRAIN WERE YOU ON?! IT’S SO CLEAN.

  • Lillypod September 24th, 2013 10:20 AM

    I prefer to focus on all the positive points of this photo shoot / interview: teenage girls who are passionate about the causes and concerns they believe in, actively working for these causes, AND looking awesome.

    if you are accomplishing more impressive things, in DMs or not, please step forward. If not, learn a little here about some things that are truly important – gender equality, bullying, etc.

  • Mimi7 September 24th, 2013 11:37 AM

    I just think, cool a big brand supports rookie. That’s good! Doc Martens seem to be pretty good company and it’s a way to get important messages out to a wider audience.

  • julalondon September 24th, 2013 11:38 AM

    I don’t get what People are angry about. I mean, everyday we get to read three brilliant Posts for free, created by artists, writers, photographers,…i always wonder how you get the Money for all that. It’s an amazing work you guys do and we should appreciate it and be grateful about the fact that a great brand (and Dr. Martens is great AMIRIGHT) thinks that what they are doing is amazing.. Seriously People, think about it!!

    Also, to comment on the post itself: These Girls are just perfection, i admire the work they are doing and they look SO RAD in those pictures!!!
    Makes me miss NY…

    I love you Rookie.

  • Tara A. September 24th, 2013 12:24 PM

    This is brilliant! Such a great message.

  • eireann September 24th, 2013 1:46 PM

    I love this…honestly I hear way too many generalizations regarding the laziness/lack of motivation present in our generation from my university professors (not that I believe it!) and this was so refreshing to see and hear. Love the Doc Martens as well. Thank you Rookie!

  • trassel September 24th, 2013 2:02 PM

    I liked this post. It’s so inspirational to read about these girls, making the world a better place. I think it’s great that there is a debate though.

  • Cutesycreator aka Monica September 24th, 2013 3:12 PM

    Squee! These girls are so rad.

  • elliecp September 24th, 2013 3:21 PM

    I think this is great. It’s nice to hear people are out there doing something for a cause they feel strongly about <3
    also dm's are the most perfect shoes ever

  • Montgomery September 24th, 2013 6:40 PM

    LOVE the photos Sandy!! This is such a wonderful shoot. Jamia can bring the best out of people when she interviews them!! I respect every one of these young women!! You go ladies, the idea to match these rad young women with the most rad shoe company around is…..dare I say rad? Lol Okay I’ll stop. I get that some are confused but come on, this is a wonderful shoot and interview and I for one and excited for all 6 of the beautiful young women featured!! Thanks Rookie, I never feel cheap after reading your stuff. (: The real question though……did they get to keep the shoes?! lol.

  • Violet September 25th, 2013 8:22 PM

    This article was wonderful (only I wish the debate about DMs had remained free of patronizing / biting comments – kindness + Rookie being associated in my mind).

    Anyway, it’s the first time I see a truly substantial photoshoot where there is meaning AND fashion.

    These girls have so much style and so much beauty inside and out!!! Reading and seeing this makes me want to do more, be braver, and more assertive.

    Thank you for making us meet them !!!


  • FlorenceEyre September 26th, 2013 7:55 AM

    I really like this post, and speaking out generally, I kind of feel like activism has a “dark” side no one really talks about.

    For example, I made some pro-choice posters (saying that many women die because of anti-interruption laws and it should be kept safe – nothing sexist, racist or bad), and I posted them on the girls bathroom door, but a teacher found them and brought them to the teachers lounge. When my father (who also teaches at the same school) foud out that I did them, he forbade me to go to a Shonen Kinfe concert, and said I have to wait till next monday, when teachers are going to have their “session”, and that I shouldn´t be surprised if I am in trouble for it.

    I think that this side, should be also mentioned in such articles (but I´m just saying, no offense or something).

  • Kezia November 13th, 2013 4:09 PM

    I personally see nothing wrong with this post. I love shoes, and the only thing better than pictures of really sick shoes are pictures of strong inspiring women rocking those sick shoes the way they were meant to be rocked.

  • Mary the freak December 19th, 2013 1:48 PM

    This is seriously my favorite post on ROOKIE EVER.

    I love how strong, bright and just awesome these grrls are. These are just, like, QUEENS. I admire those grrls so much. YOU RULE.

    And I desperately want to rock that dark green lipstick it is FABULOUS!