If only Atoosa Rubenstein had ordered a second cup of coffee on Saturday, maybe she wouldn’t have dozed through the moment when she graduated from a figure of local fun to an object of national ridicule. The Seventeen editor in chief says she and her husband, Ari, fell asleep in front of the TV moments before a character named Anoosa Rosenfeld of 16 1/2 magazine, played by Maya Rudolph, turned up on Saturday Night Live‘s “Weekend Update” to pontificate on teens and Thanksgiving.
“I didn’t know anything about it until my art director sent me a text the next day,” says Rubenstein, who recently announced vague plans to leave Seventeen and start her own company. “After that, all of a sudden I got tons and tons of messages and phone calls, but I didn’t know where to watch it, so I was just asking people to describe it to me.”
In the segment, Rudolph barks out random teen buzzwords like “MySpace!” and “Chad Michael Murray!” and urges girls to celebrate Thanksgiving by donating all their food to the poor. “Just keep donating until you almost feel like you’re going to pass out,” she says, going on to praise Nicole Richie. “I can almost see her Thanksgiving spirit jutting out through her chest.” (The gag was apparently a riff on a remark Rubenstein once made about the designer Tuleh: “I feel like I want to start starving myself so I can wear those clothes now.”)
In such circumstances, the script calls for the target of a satire to display a sense of humor about the jab while simultaneously undermining its premise. Rubenstein: “It’s fun and I think it’s funny, but it’s not a reflection of who I am and what I stand for. Also, clearly somebody didn’t tell Maya I’m wearing my hair straighter these days.”
• Hell Hath No Fury Like an Intern Scorned