Goodbye Column: Rowdy, You're Chaos. And I Love You For It
After a year of working as Rowdy's first online editor, and later online editorial director, Lauren Rousseau says goodbye.
( Lauren Rousseau / Rowdy Magazine Online Editorial Director )
My journey with Rowdy has always been a chaotic one. For those familiar with the magazine’s memes, unapologetic proclamations and cultural hot-takes, this may not come as a surprise. But not for all the reasons you’d think.
Yes, memes, dancing bananas and 4Lokos emojis fill our Slack channels. But from the moment that I joined Rowdy in June 2020, the world was ablaze.
Pandemic fatigue. Black Lives Matter uproar. Literal fires licking the earth. Dissociation from society (or languishing, as the New York Times recently called it). It was a lot to start with and a lot to continue through. To think about. To start new conversations about, even when we don’t want to — because they’re important.
This was the challenge that online faced every week. Each Wednesday at 6 p.m., me and a group of writers and editors talked about these things on Zoom. We also spoke about the relevancy of Harry Styles and Lana Del Rey. Sexual stigmas. Explorations of all the genders. The infuriating reality of growing up in a political dumpster fire.
These conversations sparked article ideas, sure. But they also created a bond. The fact that writers from different states, different timezones, could connect on such personal levels makes my heart burst. (Oh god, I’m going to miss this so much. Y’all really made this hard!)
It’s not unknown to me that they had chaos going on in their lives, too. Hell, a lot of the teams probably did, as well. But we still maintained a kickass blog in the process. We produced content ranging from live coverage of the presidential election and protests to fashion breakdowns, music reviews and explorations of sexuality. And I am so proud.
To the writers, past and present, thank you. You kept me going Every time I was starting to feel burnt out, your ideas excited me. Your passion. Your beautiful prose. (Ugh, y'all are too talented!) I'm so grateful to have worked with you.
Thank you to Ava Loomar. You gave me this shot. Became a mentor, and better yet, a friend. From our very first interaction, you set the vibe for the editorial team. Established that this would be a welcoming environment where everyone’s thoughts and feelings are valued. You made me a better editor and leader, and I appreciate you more than you know.
Thank you to Grace Romo, Madeline Murphy, Katie Delk and Nabiha Nur for reading over words when my brain turns to mush. I’ll miss experiencing that succulent satisfaction of watching Google Docs suggestions become accepted, page become clean and article come together with you. Kalia Richardson and Jenna Bennett, watching you become the print queens and doing the same for your writers has been amazing to witness.
To the designers, thank you for transforming words into art. The online team fangirls about your work from time to time. Think you should know. To the social media team, thanks for hyping us up!!
To Ana Escalate, thank you for entrusting me to take Rowdy’s voice onto the web, and pushing me to make sure our content stays relevant.
Rowdy, you’re chaos. And I love you for it.
Now go read the blog. It’s f*cking fantastic.
Lauren Rousseau <3
Lauren Rousseau was Rowdy Magazine's first Online Editor and first Online Editorial Director from June 2020 to May 2021. When Lauren's not starring at a phone or laptop screen, she enjoys watching ridiculous reality television, stress-baking and listening to music. You can pitch her stories at email@example.com and find her on Instagram @laurenxrousseau