Magazines & Me: A Love Story

Dear magazines, 

Can you keep a secret? You were always my first love.

I say I didn’t fall in love until a couple years ago, but in reality, I fell in love the first day I received my first magazine in the mail. In elementary school, I started getting American Girl magazines. From then on, every month, my heart would palpitate when my mother walked back to the house from the mailbox with one in her hand — or if I went to get the mail and opened that beautiful box that contained the glossy and scented publication — that to me, held everything that I needed to know about fashion, beauty and love.

Thank you, American Girl, for introducing me to the world of magazines. As a young girl that loved to read, I needed something more than the usual fiction book on the bookshelf of my classroom. I needed something real — something I could relate to. I read every page, did every quiz, and soon outgrew the first publication that began my addiction.

Thank you, Girls’ Life, for teaching me so much that I didn’t know before. You were like that friend in school that knew everything way before it was appropriate for her age. I remember asking my mother what coke was (not the soda) because one of your readers needed advice on what she should do about a friend that was addicted to it. It was the first issue that I got in the mail, and my mother was not happy with you. She thought cocaine was something that I should not have been reading about at my age (I believe I was in fourth grade). I begged her to let me keep getting you in the mail, saying that was the only bad thing you talked about. And for a few years you were my next love.

Thank you, Seventeen, for being so damn cool for soon-to-be eighth grade me. I remember walking through Walgreens one blistering hot day over the summer. I was casually perusing the magazine aisle wearing short denim shorts and in dire need of a popsicle, when I saw you. It was love at first sight. Your cover was so colorful and the headlines were probably way too old for me (hence the title Seventeen — and I was 13), but I wanted to buy you right then and there. I was heading to the pool and needed something cool and different to read. You were my summer fling that turned into years of love. I remember that first issue I bought, with Katy Perry on the cover, July 2009. I wish I kept you. You deserve to be preserved in a museum somewhere, because that summer issue had the most beautiful and cool spreads. The clothing, the makeup, the articles. It was all on point. And I read every word of you laying by the pool that summer. You taught me about different things to do with makeup, as I just started public high school and I could finally wear it. You taught me what was trending, as I didn’t have to wear uniforms anymore. You were my Bible! You helped me get through the landmine that was my freshman year of high school.

Thank you, Vogue, Elle, British Glamour and Harper’s Bazaar, for always being there for me at Barnes and Noble. I was lost in high school. I needed real friends, which were hard to come by, and you were always sitting there, waiting for me to come pick you up. In reality, you were the ones that picked me up. If I got out of school early or had a day off, I would always make the effort to come see your beautiful faces. Nothing made me happier than drinking coffee and flipping through your pages. I’m sorry some of you didn’t make it to my house. I was already getting magazines and some of you were a little pricey (no offense), but that didn’t mean I loved you any less. You taught me what high fashion was, not that I could afford it then, but looking never hurt anyone. You had some great articles about business women and women in tech. I believe it was one of you that had a great article about Whitney Wolfe (now Whitney Wolfe Herd), the founder and CEO of Bumble. She was absolutely stunning and I was amazed that someone like her was able to start her own tech business and create a now very successful app. It inspired me to look into technology, and possibly start my own app. 

And finally, thank you Cosmopolitan, for being that bad-ass babe of a girlfriend. I judged you hardcore, I really did. You were that friend that always looked hot and always had a guy on you. You were absolutely shameless. Was I judging, or was I jealous? Probably both. You were the first magazine I always had flipped down. Your headlines are not something that parents want to read. But they are still important. You taught me how to speak up in life, that us females have a loud voice, and we need to use it. Whether it’s owning that new hairstyle, to asking for more at work, to getting what you want in an intimate relationship, you talk about it all. Nothing was off the table, and after reading you for a short time, I wanted to be you. I wanted to be the Cosmo woman. I’m still in love with you, and currently you are the only magazine I get. I’ve narrowed my subscriptions down to just one right now, as college and work take up most of my time. But I don’t plan on moving on from you anytime soon. I’m at a point in my life where I’ll be done with school soon, most likely moving far away from home and starting my career. I need you! 

Thank you all again, for teaching me life lessons. For being the older sister I never had. For being the friends I needed. Please don’t go away or leave me.

I know that the internet and social media has hurt you, that it’s taken your spotlight. But you will always be stars to me. I love you all. 

- Sasha Saliba