In a recent New York Times article about Seventeen editor Atoosa Rubenstein, the ‘frizzy-haired editor of CosmoGirl’ talks about what it would take to remake Seventeen — ‘a much more conventional magazine.’
She began straightening her hair.
‘I felt like I wasn’t fitting in at my own magazine,’ Rubenstein, 31, explained to the Times. ‘The old hair said, ‘Hi, I’m a quirky, wacky girl, and I don’t care what anybody thinks.’ The new hair said, ‘I have work to do.’
If ever there was a destructive message to send to young women, this is it. Any good she might do in her attempts to remake Seventeen have been undone by this kind of attitude.
Women with curly hair already are underrepresented in the media, considering that roughly half the world’s population has curly or kinky hair. Now the leader of one of the most popular teen magazines has decided that her curly hair is holding her back. If she wanted to bring some meat to her magazine, she has gone about it in a ridiculously superficial way.
And what really frightens us here at NaturallyCurly.com is that this attitude will permeate the pages of Seventeen, undoing any strides that have been made in helping young women love what they were born with rather than fighting to fit some ill-conceived notion of what is beautiful, successful, etc.
In our view, her new hair didn’t say ‘I have work to do.’ It sends a far darker message.