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Confessions of a Thirty-Something Cosmogirl
Hi. So this is a fun story. When I was around 14, I (like many of you) worshipped at the altar of Cosmogirl! magazine — and by extension, their enigmatic Editor-in-Chief, Atoosa Rubenstein.
Atoosa was a venerable (and quite famous) force in the magazine industry. Back then, I wrote her a letter to tell her that one day, I wanted to be a writer and work in magazines like her.
Atoosa penned a monthly Editor’s letter where she dispensed friendly, zero-BS advice. She didn’t pander to us. Instead, she spoke to teenage girls like the capable women they were about to become. Looking back, I realize how formative her work was to my own.
Slate recently published a feature by Heather Schwedel on Atoosa’s return to the public eye. In the interview, she mentioned launching a Substack newsletter, encouraging reader submissions. On a lark, I sent her an essay drafted in 2020.
20 years later, I got a reply from Atoosa.
She gave me encouragement, her phone number, and — over many emails — some very profound edits to my essay. Then, she published it.
I haven’t had anyone believe in me that way in a long time.
So today, instead of a normal newsletter, I’m writing you this. It’s a very moving full-circle moment.
If there are any other grown-up Cosmogirls out there, hi — I see you. This one is especially for you.
(And thank you, Atoosa 🤍)