ATOOSA RUBENSTEIN: ‘VERY NICE PEOPLE DON’T CHANGE THE WORLD’
By Kristin Russ Morgan
You could label her audacious or tough — but after a whirlwind journey with the fashion and editorial world, Atoosa Rubenstein has plenty of opinions and isn’t afraid to share them. The former youngest Editor-in-Chief at Hearst sat down with the WomenHeard podcast to talk about what it was like founding CosmoGirl, being Editor-in-Chief of Seventeen, the importance of unconditional self-love, her return to the industry via Substack, and more. Prepare yourself for one honest and thoughtful conversation!
‘WE’RE CAUGHT IN THIS ROLE OF BEING CONTENT FARMERS’
In a world where everyone has a voice and is able to broadcast it to the masses, audiences are left sifting through loads of content, much of which lacks quality or originality. That’s why Rubenstein is looking to women to shake things up, encouraging them to be like “pirates” who come up with creative, wacky ideas that haven’t been tried before. “There’s just so much opportunity for real cutting edge vision and excellence,” she says.
‘I DON’T’ KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE ALGORITHM’
These days, there’s so much pressure to write what’s expected rather than what’s actually a good story. Rubenstein feels lucky to have avoided much of that, and now, she’s pushing others to think differently too. “The only thing I know about is human beings and what they are looking for in life—because it’s similar to what I’m looking for in life—which is peace, joy, and freedom,” she says. “How do we deliver peace, joy, and freedom? I know it’s not in an algorithm.”
IT’S ALL ABOUT IRL
Rubenstein opens up about how in the past, she wasn’t the person she wanted to be, even when she appeared to have it all together on the outside. That’s part of the reason why she left her glamorous job at Seventeen and spent a chunk of time learning to love herself without judgment. One of her key self-care tools? Meditation. She practices it every single day and says it’s added an “incalculable” value to her life.
“Back then I couldn’t have possibly known how important interior life is to me today,” Rubenstein says. “We all know the relationship with ourselves is the most important.”
Many many thanks to Atoosa Rubenstein for giving us her time! Check out more episodes of the NYWICI: Women Heard podcast here.