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Read Her Work!

Stephanie Harris

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There’s always been something magical about choosing a crisp magazine from the grocery store aisle at the beginning of each month. I tend to reach for the issues near the back of the stack, ones that haven’t been thumbed through already, whose creaseless pages seem to be flat ironed straight just moments ago. Whether it’s April or September or January, magazines seem to reclaim each season as a new beginning, promising ideas as fresh as the smell of ink on each page between their glossy covers.


For me, most women’s magazines have always seemed to represent a sort of unattainable glamour. They offer a fleeting glimpse into the lives of lanky models and scandalous celebrities, a taste of what it must feel like to strut down the sidewalk in thousand-dollar Louboutins. It’s always felt as though the magic of most magazines resides in the impossibly flawless women on the covers wearing couture dresses I know I could never pull off. But it’s always felt that way because it’s always been about them — those perfect women — and not about me.


There’s something dangerous in that, I think. It’s dangerous to exclude myself from that magic, that feeling of glamour — to indulge myself in others’ airbrushed lives and faces with nothing but a perfume sample to take from them. When really, the elegance I hope to exude in my life can’t be found in anyone other than myself. This is something that Real Simple seems to understand better than any magazine I’ve read or worked for. Real Simple curates beautiful people, products, clothing, and words without minimizing its true purpose: enhancing, if only in some small way, the life of the true cover girl — the reader herself. Above all, it’s a publication that embodies a core message with which I wholeheartedly agree: us women are far from simple.


Thank you, ASME and the Real Simple team, for my best summer yet. I feel honored to have been a part of your purpose and family, if only in some small way. The best is yet tk.


Stephanie Harris is a rising senior at the University of Michigan with a focus in Communication Studies and English Literature. Among many things, she is a freelance writer, a good listener, a coffee lover, and a storyteller.



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