Skip to main content

Atoosa Rubenstein, Cosmo Girl, and the Harsh Reality of Being a Fashion Magazine Editor

by Nkem Emefiele

Envision this, you are a 26 year old woman told to create a new type of fashion magazine. Less than 2 days later, you come up with Cosmo Girl and become renowned for being the youngest editor-in-chief in Hearst's 100 year history. You've made it! 

Despite this being Atoosa Rubenstein’s reality, while most can only dream of such a life, she detached herself from that path just a few years after Cosmo Girl’s creation. 

Rubenstein was born on the 13th of January 1972, having just turned 52, in Iran. At age 3, she moved to the hustle and bustle of New York City, with her family later relocating to Long Island. 

She studied at Barnard College and became a public relations intern at Lang Communications. She juggled a few jobs to be able to pay her bills and worked to get to where she wanted to be. For example, she worked at retail stores and dropped out of her sorority to take on a second magazine internship - talk about determined. 

Rubenstein's career kicked off in 1993, starting with her becoming a fashion assistant for Cosmopolitan, just 5 years later she was promoted to senior fashion editor. 

In 2003, after Hearst bought Seventeen magazine, she was made Editor-in-Chief. In this position, Rubenstein increase their sales, after being on a decline for the prior 5 years, and delivered total growth of 23%. 

By doing so, she was able to only make a name for herself, but also create a show for MTV, Miss Seventeen, and had multiple appearances on America's Next Top Model.

While her career was increasing, her mental health unfortunately was not.

In 2006 Rubenstein announced her departure from seventeen and decided to follow a new path.

In 2023, she took to social media to share her struggles and hardships in relation to the topic of her mental health and how that has altered her life from her highschool life to now. 

During high school, Rubenstein discovered one of Earth's worst cravings. 

She earnestly shared having begun to self harm, and found it to be something that started to relieve her pain and stress. She described the blade as having a “hypnotic quality” and being “addictive” all the way to her senior year. She was trapped and didnt talk about it which caused her harm more. 

Despite being aware she was headed down the wrong path, due to therapy not being free nor affordable she was unable to get the help she was aware she needed. The only source of comfort was a Seventeen magazine, which thankfully covered the reasons why some may turn to self harm, highlighting the important role publications play in helping people and providing information. 

Finally feeling heard, she stopped a year after college. Everything was starting to look up for Rubenstein.

Talking about your mental health issues is imperative, I promise you there is someone out there who will listen and you will find someone that understands your struggles, even if it’s something as simple as a magazine, book, or TikTok account. 

Through everything she endured, she created Cosmo girl; an american fashion and lifestyle magazine. Published until 2008, it was tailored to tennagers and was a great success, having reached 8 million readers during its publication.

After a successful career, in 2006, Rubenstein left Seventeen to launch her own teen-focused website, write a book, and start a youth marketing consulting firm. Now, she is happily focused on being a mother of 3. 

Edited by Emily Duff

Most Popular

Fashion For a Cause: Brands That Stand with Palestine and the history of fashion as a form of Activism

by Oana-Maria Moldovan For over two months, there has been an ongoing genocide war in Gaza. To simplify a long and horrific issue, the situation that started, on a larger scale, around one hundred years ago, and has only become amplified since October 7th 2023. Taking place around the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and Israel–Lebanon border, the armed conflict is between Israel and Hamas-led Palestinian militant groups.  The problem is about “stolen” land. Said land is seen as an important holy part of both religions involved. But really, how holy can we consider a land to be, if people kill other people for it? It’s important to remember that this genocide is about three things: forced occupation, zionism, and religion. It’s also important to remember what ethnic erasure is. This terrible expresion, also known as cultural or ethnic assimilation, refers to the process by which the distinct cultural or ethnic identity of a particular group is gradually diminished or erased, often due to ext

‘Make Tattooing Safe Again’: Sheffield Based Tattoo Artist Exposed for Indecent Behaviour

 by Emily Fletcher TW: SA, Animal Abuse, Transphobia Photo Credit: @ meiko_akiz uki Recently, an  Instagram account  has been created to provide a  ‘space to safely give a voice to those who want to speak out about the behaviour of one, Sheffield based tattoo artist’. A  total of 40+ posts have been made by the above social media account regarding  one of Sheffield's most popular tattoo artists .  Thankfully, all posts are prefaced with a Content Warning prior to sharing screenshots of the messages that have been sent anonymously to the page. The majority of Content Warnings refer to sexual behaviour, abuse, and sexual assault. It is clear that there is a reoccurring theme within each submission, as many clients appear to have had the same experiences with the tattoo artist. Women, mostly, are being made to feel uncomfortable while being tattooed. One of the most vulnerable positions anyone can be in, tattoo artists should make their clients feel comfortable and safe during the pro

Now What? The Aftermath of the 'Manic Pixie Dream Girl'

by Susan Moore Here is a bit about me: I am an open, excitable, creative AFAB who is also moderately attractive. I have a unique sense of personal style and a personality that on the surface can only be described as “bubbly” and “quirky”. For this reason, dating is a nightmare. To be sure, I do not have a hard time finding dates or potential suitors. The problems arise when said dates spend some time with me and decide that I am a rare specimen, and the connection they feel with me is “unlike anything they have felt before”. Then, things go one of two ways.  Either a) they decide I am too high maintenance and no longer palatable, or  b) they choose to never look further than the surface and are content to date the idea of me rather than the real me. There is something rather interesting, perhaps funny, about my situation. It is in no way unique. I have met so many people who constantly dealt with the same problem. Even funnier still, is the fact that there is a trope that simultaneousl