CNN: Yes, but what in particular resonated with you?
Gevinson: I have a lot of feelings about it; that could be a whole interview on its own. I just watched the Joan Rivers documentary and I thought that might be up to it. I watched Katy Perry's movie. It made me really emotional and made me want to see her live. I think Justin Bieber's story is so ... forgive me for wording it like this ... unique to our time. That movie is like a three-hour-long bar mitzvah montage. You know how when you go to a bar mitzvah, which I'm sure you do all the time, and they show a video of the kid through the years and it's really flattering because it's his bar mitzvah, so, obviously? That's what that movie felt like. It was called a documentary, but it was produced by him.
I am a Justin Bieber fan, but I am also so fascinated by how weird pop music can be and how manipulated it can be, so I enjoy thinking about that side of it too. I feel bad for him. I could never imagine growing up that way. When someone starts something like that so young, you have to wonder...
CNN: You've encountered a certain level of fame at a young age. What effect do you think it's had on you?
Gevinson: The scariest thing about receiving praise at a young age is the fear of burning out or losing it, or proving people right that you were just a novelty. Obviously, I can see mistakes in things that I've done or said and can see flaws in things I've made, but that's just part of growing.
The fear of being like, oh no, I made something people like, how do I follow it up? I'm more comfortable with that than feeling like nothing has gone right. I haven't been puppeteered or anything so I don't feel like I lost anything. My dad answers my press e-mails and stuff like that, but I got into this myself.
I am sitting in my room right now and I go to public high school. I leave every month or so for a few days and then I come home and I have to do my homework. At the same time, I don't mean to say I live a completely normal life because I have to do math homework.
Even if you do have a balance between career and school and friends and all of that, you still have to think about things that are different from what other people your age are thinking about and I just don't buy it when someone says that one cancels out the other.
You might be on your phone at school and see something written about you and you might feel weird about it and you can't talk to anybody about it because it's disgusting to talk about how you received attention at a young age for a blog, of all things. I try and keep my room and school a safe space where I can truly feel like I'm not performing for anyone or I don't have anything to prove to anyone.
CNN: It still seems like you have something valuable to offer other kids by talking about it. Your peers would probably like to learn how to deal with negative comments online and more generally how to both embrace and transcend the emotional chaos of being a teen.
Gevinson: I'm really good at making teen angst romantic. I'm really good at dealing with heartbreak and things like that, and making it into this whole experience. But there's no way to make someone-on-the-Internet-said-something-mean-about-me into romantic angst where you can listen to music and cry or whatever. That's just really pathetic. So I just try and think about these worries in their simplest form: Feeling misunderstood and feeling afraid. Being afraid to change because who you've been is so well-documented is essentially a normal fear about growing up. Social interactions are completely mortifying and embarrassment is in store for you, and in a year you'll hate whoever you are now and everything anyway. Just knowing all that helps too.