The writer of a recent Buzzfeed article, "10 Teenage Girls Who Changed the World," wrote as her subhead, "Teen girls get a bad rap as either screaming fangirls or emotional messes. That's not entirely fair."
As a woman who once was a teenage girl herself, I would agree. But I have to be honest. At first glance I was shocked to see famed Oak Park Rookie Magazine creator and editor-in-chief, actress and fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson, 17, on the list sandwiched between novelist Mary Shelley and four Nigerian girls who invented a urine powered generator that turns a liter of urine into six hours of electricity.
I was ready to pick up my glass of haterade (like Gatorade but for haters) and write a pretty wordy piece about how maybe the girl who sits front row at fashion week and the girl who was shot in the head by Taliban forces just because she is an advocate for girls being educated (i.e., Malala Yousafzai) may not belong on the same list.
But I had to take a moment to think. Aren't both girls affecting culture? Giving people hope? Gevinson may not have created an algorithm that can diagnose breast cancer with 99 percent accuracy like Brittany Wenger, but she does give thousands of girls around the country a reason to feel confident. That is just as important.
Rookie Magazine tells girls they can be whoever the heck they want to be. They can be proud of their bodies. They can rock out to old school music. They can love whoever they want. They can ask grown men questions (watch some of the videos). They can just...be. If you ask me, that's pretty world changing.