columnfinal.jpgGemma Cartwright writes...

Reading The Sunday Times Style this weekend, I was excited to see one of Catwalk Queen's favourite fashion bloggers, Style Rookie, mentioned. That was until I noticed where Tavi's great blog was listed. In the 'going down' list.

Yep, Style has jumped on the bandwagon started by NY Mag. Apparently, 12-year-old fashion bloggers just aren't cool, and girls like Tavi are simply proving 'you can start too early'.

To coin an irritating phrase used far too often in this office...Whatevs!

It upsets me that people in this industry think it's ok to flippantly insult someone so young, and more importantly, to do so in the national press. Chances are that 'cool' list was written last minute by a bored sub / features assistant / intern who didn't really think about what they were doing, but to me that's no excuse. It's cheap to target a kid, especially one who has a blog that's miles better than most stuff produced by people twice her age (*cough*).

I hate to go down the 'they're obviously just jealous' route, but sometimes a spade really is a spade. At 12, Tavi has more fashion awareness and creative ideas than most of us will have in a lifetime, and she's got years to hone that before she launches herself on the industry. She's not the only one either - just look at her post signposting other amazing young fashion bloggers - there are loads of them. These kids have years to blog, learn and improve, which is quite exciting. I can't wait to see what the industry is like in ten years time. If only half the amazing tween and teen style bloggers actually end up working in fashion, it'll still be brilliant.

Some people have said Tavi's too young to be doing what she's doing. Why? She's not dressing like a slut, she's not really revealing any more than a lot of other kids her age do on MySpace or Bebo (usually without privacy settings in place). She has her parents blessing to keep her blog. She's actually learning about something that might be of use to her in the future (even if she doesn't work in fashion, she's gaining experience in photography, web design, writing, communication skills and lots more). Surely for that she should be applauded?

All the extra experience this next generation is getting is a good thing in my eyes. It means in the future the people coming into the industry will have years of research (and thus knowledge) to bring to the table, and thing will be better as a result. There's no use running scared or being catty, we should be nurturing young talent.

So to Tavi and all the other young fashion bloggers, I say keep up the amazing work...

...Just don't come after my job!

Gemma Cartwright wishes fashion blogs existed when she was 12. Then she wouldn't have worn so much from Tammy Girl.