GIRLS I KNOW
Atoosa Rubenstein
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September 2012, Amsterdam Ave

Atoosa is Magic.

When was the last time you were scared?

“The truth is, I’m scared on a daily basis if I were to be totally honest. Like this morning, my daughter Angie was playing on a playground that we had never been to and for a moment, I couldn’t find her in the throng of children. Of course that scared me. Something like that happens everyday. When she is somewhere without me (even if she is with my husband), I am afraid until I see her again. Fear is always just under the surface when you have a child because when you are a parent, God has entrusted you with the care of this perfect human being and you just want to do your very best.”

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You know when you feel nervous to see someone, a person you admire? Butterflies and blushing? It’s a rare occurrence and it only happens when your respect for someone is immense OR you’re in love. This feeling is magic. Remember who makes you feel this way.

Atoosa Rubenstein, is the first Girl I Know. We met under unusual circumstances: I won a contest she created as Editor in Chief of Seventeen Magazine. It was a show on MTV in 2005, and it was all those things your imagination is telling you it was.  Atoosa gave my face to the cover of Seventeen Magazine, a paid internship with Seventeen and a college scholarship, I was 21 years old and still living in Wisconsin. Without Atoosa’s guidance, I would have struggled to acclimate to New York City.

Atoosa left the publishing world in the Winter of 2007. I’ll never forget her phone call revealing the news. I was freezing in Wisconsin, counting down the days to graduation, when my Zack Morris cell phone rang. Atoosa is calling! “Jen, I’m resigning as Editor in Chief.” My only response was to say I wanted her job. To my surprise, she agreed. What happened next, I save for myself or another time.

Atoosa’s success goes beyond what I can divulge in a few paragraphs, I still have hope she will return to the publishing world in some facet. An editor who spoke directly to her audiences, she understood the changing landscape and dynamic of the media and how to relate to a demographic so hungry for answers. Her vision inspires me. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned firsthand from Atoosa is, “Know what you want.”

- Jen