Women with curly hair already are underrepresented in the media, considering that roughly half the world's population has curly or kinky hair.

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.


I'm 16, and I can't tell you how many how many stress-zits have resulted from straight expectations like these. Here's my story. When I was in eighth grade, I emerged from my awkward, pumpkinesque phase. My best friend was the “hot girl” and I was the friend with the fro (type 3c). It hurt, I wanted to be noticed by anyone, even the weird kid who smelled his shoes during social studies. So I invested in the most powerful straightener I could afford and devoted that entire day to de-crimping my curls. That night I showed up at the high-school’s football game and literally was drowned in compliments. For the first time ever, I heard my name and “hot” used in the same sentence without a negative thrown in. From then on, I associated the burnt hair smell with beauty and the beloved straightener rarely left my hand. I felt amazing, but my hair seriously paid. At first the curls loosened, which I liked. But the more I straightened, the limper they got until I could blow-dry my hair straight (something I’d never imagined possible). During this time boys were giving me superfluous amounts of attention for my looks. Three even made a bet on who could get into my pants first. One of them told me about it, hoping it would give him an advantage. I was 14 and disgusted. I spiraled into depression, all because of my hair. No one understood that. So I tried to give up my straightener addiction, thinking it was what caused my unhappiness. But hair grows slowly, and with the depression I put on weight. Boys stopped paying attention and I felt even worse. With my best friend and God’s grace, I struggled into sanity. But my self esteem was still low, and my hair still mid-phase. So I straightened, and immediately came the male attention. My whole freshman year of highschool was devoted to finding myself. And I realized at the end, that my hair, naturally, is a defining part of who I am. I again have in-between hair and am impatiently awaiting fresh, bouncy, undeniably Catherine curls.