My Secret Life as a Reporter for “Doll Reader” Magazine
As a women’s studies major and Very Serious Journalist, I thought I had nothing to learn from people who obsessed over expensive children’s toys. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Illustration by Ellen Surrey
Richard Simmons’ cheek is surprisingly rough.
That was the first thought that registered as the fitness guru pulled me in for a spontaneous embrace. I guess I’d assumed his skin would feel as soft as the silky short shorts he wore in my mom’s Sweatin’ to the Oldies videos, not the pumice-like cheek that scraped mine as he squealed at making my acquaintance.
I was attending my first doll convention as an employee of Doll Reader magazine, and meeting Simmons, an uber-collector with his own line of figurines, was one of the job’s rites of passage.
I was 24 and self-important, impatient for my “real” career to begin. I didn’t want to be excited about doing anything at a doll magazine. I needed the paycheck, but I considered the job beneath me.
Yet Richard Simmons was kind and joyful, and so were the other people I encountered that day at the doll fair. Maybe, it dawned on me ... maybe I was seeing this job, and my life, all wrong.
Doll Reader was a so-called “enthus…
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