We Hear You! Letters from Our February 2012 Issue

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MORE • Editors

Thank you for the wonderful article on the First Lady and her work with girls in the Washington, DC area. As a former teacher in the southeast Washington neighborhood of Congress Heights, it has truly been such a value-add to watch the first family invest in this city again. The First Lady in particular has done so much to encourage young people in this area and has simultaneously helped the rest of the country rediscover the richness of DC. I am thankful to know that people might look upon the students with whom I work differently because the First Lady & President have shined such a positive light on them.

One of those students in particular bears mentioning. Patrice Haney, valedictorian of DC’s Anacostia High School Class of 2011, is the young lady featured in the photo hugging Mrs. Obama. I, too, am one of Patrice’s mentors, and was so thrilled to witness her moments with Mrs. Obama and the rest of the young women in the program through your story. I know that Patrice was incredibly blessed by being able to work with the First Lady and her staff, and grew tremendously during her time there. Though Patrice has come from difficult circumstances, she worked diligently to maintain an over 4.0 GPA throughout high school while juggling demanding athletic responsibilities and work. Patrice has earned many merit scholarships and is now a freshman at Middle Tennessee State University—where she earned a 3.6 GPA in her first semester. Patrice is an incredible young woman with great poise, dignity and an fantastically bright future. As we honor Mrs. Obama, I am glad took time in the article to honor Patrice and all of her incredible accomplishments as well.

Thank you, Mrs. Obama, for all that you have done and continue to do for deserving young women like Patrice, and world, Patrice Haney is ready to take you by storm!
--Brittany N. Packnett

I just finished reading Sandy Hingston's piece on The Scent of Three Women. I laughed and then I cried and cried. I could so totally relate to it. My mother is 94 years old (she would say young). All through my life and her's as far back as I can remember, she has worn and still wears Este Lauders "Youth Dew". It simply is her. She always received a gift set of perfume and powder from Dad every Christmas. I too when growing up and going out on special dates would sneak a little spray and feel grown up. I generally do not wear fragrences as my husband is bothered by them but, not to long ago we were going to a wedding and I felt the need to spritz on a little something. We were at my mothers house so naturally I spritzed on "Youth Dew". When my husband and i were dancing he stopped and looked at me and told me "You smell like you did when we were dating!". Now isn't that nice after being married for 40 years? Once my mother passes I know that everytime I smell that fragrance, I will be transported back in time and place to a spot where mom was young and so was I. Keep up the good work.
--Pat Crawford, Portsmouth, NH

The first thing I noticed about the February issue of More was the extensive photo image editing to Michelle Obama's photograph. The photographer, Peggy Sirota, is given credit, but why isn't credit given to the person who did the great "photoshopping" of Michelle's face?
--Susan Stover

My name is Mary Michels and I have been a long and loyal subscriber of MORE magazine. I've always enjoyed the the magazine for it's inspirational articles, celebrity bios, the shopping tips and hints and of course ALWAYS knowing what to wear season to season!

I had always admired this magazine as it never took an overt political stance... oh it clearly does have an undercurrent political slant but I usually overlooked that while enjoying "which shoes go better with what skirt"..... But when you featured Michele Obama on the cover a few years back as a "fashion icon", it disappointed me greatly as I had wondered then, why no other First Lady had ever graced your cover....... Shortly after that issue came out, I was out with two friends and both had told me that they had canceled their subscription to MORE as a protest of glorifying this woman and turning this pleasure reading into a political stand.

First Published January 17, 2012

Share Your Thoughts!



I am 55 and had gained 10 pounds over the past 5 years due to menopause, meds, etc. Started the South Beach Diet 1st week of January and was in Phase 2 when I read "Outsmart your belly fat" in 6 weeks. Changed my exericise routine to The Exercise Plan. I have lost 10 pounds and back to size I was 5 years ago. My husband has also lost 20 pounds. Thank you -- it is really possible to lose after menopause! Many blessings!

I enjoy all of your monthly magazines. .....but I have read your magazine for years and have noticed that the over 50 - 60+ seem not to be profiled as much as I would like.
I am early 60 - need help with clothes selection for my age and also make up for the aging skin problems.
perhaps - there are many readers like myself - not in the late 40 or early 50 age bracket. We really don't get enough help in any of the magazines out there. Please give us some space.... in your magazine.
Thanks for your help,.

Jackie 02.20.2012

Thank you More for having hte First Lady on the cover. I appreciated having an opportunity to read the article learning something new. It made me reconnect with a Mentoring organization from my past to volunteer. I also appreciated the opportunity to read the posted comments both pro and con. It's a blessing that we live in a country that allows people to provide their comments without fear of being attacked for what they think. First Ladies, regardless of their political affilitations, have worked with More Magazine. Let's not forget that former First Lady Laura Bush participated in More Magazine's Reinvention conference. Thank you More for being strong and including past and current First Ladies as a part of our magazine. Please continue to do this.


First, I am about to leave AOL after 20 yrs because the Obamas are all over it. Now this cover--and Photoshopped to smithereens, too. Yick. Second, Michelle Obama is a total hypocrite--she touts veggies and capers around and then stuffs herself with steak and buttered lobster and anything else she can get her hands on. She also gets plastic surgery and her taste in clothes is laughable--remember those mangy cutoffs at the Grand Canyon. Her mother does most of her "child care." She even admits she puts herself first--is that your role model over there?Sooo, I was going to pitch a story to MORE, but I see it has become an obsequious, pandering mess...so will not.

Lindsay 02.10.2012

Unlike many others, I do not subscribe to this magazine. This is the second copy I have received, do not know how or why I am on the list, but assume maybe you want me to love this magazine, and then subscribe. If that is the case, why would you put Michelle Obama on the cover??? Are you not aware that the Obama presidency has been divisive at best, and over half the population is not happy with the way he is "fundamentally transforming" the nation? It has not only proven to be a corrupt regime (Solyndra, Fast and Furious) but our national debt is increasing by leaps and bounds due to uncontrolled spending, more than under any president. Then you have Queen Michelle who takes herself and entourage to exotic locales like Spain on the taxpayers' dime while our economy is spiriling downward. She's no role model. Like others, I gagged with this cover to glamorize a poor excuse of a first lady and presidency. I would guess politicizing should not be the goal of this magazine if you want to stay in business.


I include myself with what looks like a majority of readers who are not happy with your placement of Michelle Obama on the cover of what I thought was not a political magazine in an election year. I think this is the second time in four years she has been on the cover. If you intend on continuing to do this then I suggest you get an equally qualified wife of a Republican to be on the cover the next month. Maybe showing equal time might appease some readers or at least make you look less biased! While I am not canceling I did tear off the cover & not read the article! I enjoy the stories of real woman and the way they overcome adversity or solve a problem...neither which I think Mrs. Obama has real life experience with....

Leslie 02.07.2012

I just received my first issue and I am thrilled with the cover story, as with the entire issue. I usually only read magazines in the Dr.'s office but this was a gift and I am quite satisfied with the interests covered. Especially the fact that I was not bombarded with adverts to exhaustion (thank you thank you thank you).
I could comment positively on so many articles but the feature story that affected me the most was "Against All Odds". It brought me to tears and helped me realize how pathetic I can be in my self-pity moments. Please forward my best wishes and appreciation on to these women and let them know they have made a difference in this woman's self-awareness. I will be getting off my flabby ass tomorrow and keeping this article on my cubicle wall for inspiration.
To all the haters out there ... I am shocked that women would be so mean-spirited to other women. MORE, for women of style and substance ... clearly this mag is not for you.
Carry on MORE. You have a new fan.

pam slampak02.03.2012

I also will not be renewing my subscription. I was appalled several issues ago when Julian Assange was mentioned in one of your hot guys articles. Seriously? This man has put has put so many lives in jeopardy and ruined foreign relationships. Michelle Obama? You've all said it here already. She and her husband have no idea what they are doing. I thought More would have helped me with articles about raising teenagers and gearing up for my empty nest. Someone else to say yes it's a bittersweet feeling to see our kids go. I am done with More.

Judith Coyne02.01.2012

Hi Rita Fagan. I’m the executive editor of More and I’d like to respond to your letter about our Project Wisdom survey. First thing to be said is that women in their sixties are an important part of More’s audience and we certainly didn’t mean to be ageist by focusing a survey on their life experiences. As you probably noticed, the survey doesn’t just ask about decades past--there’s a section specifically devoted to life over age 60, in which we ask readers about the work they’re currently doing, new plans and interests they may have, etc. In terms of the title of the survey, I feel as if you may think we used “wisdom” as a code word for “old.” We didn’t. We just thought readers over 60 would have a lot of interesting (yes, even wise) things to share. And on a certain level your smart, insightful letter proves we were right. :)

I can't believe what a flood of response my editor's letter on my inability to navigate has created! Can we all meet for lunch some day? I will provide the GPS directions so we can all get there. I thought I was just writing about my quirk and lo and behold I find out--just like all of you--that I am not alone, nor a ditz cause I can't navigate my way out of a paper bag! Thank you readers; now I don't feel so bad about myself!--Lesley Jane Seymour

Justine 01.31.2012

Well, this is one issue that went straight to the trashcan. I can't look at Michele Obama's photo without getting upset, and I don't want be upset all the time!
I thought the issues about how wonderful Obamacare is and about what a fashion icon Michele Obama is was bad enough, but this cover photo is a deal breaker... cancelling my subscription. How can you be so out of touch with real working women?

Jeanne DeSilver01.29.2012

Any one of the women given barely a page in your article "Against All Odds" deserve more admiration than Michele Obama, who has done nothing except alienate hard working, struggling people and spend tax payer's money on luxuries beyound our reach. By placing her on your cover you have alienated me. I won't be renewing my subscription.

Amy 01.28.2012

When I saw the cover with Michelle Obama in my mailbox, I rushed into the house....and threw it right in the trash. Really? I fail to see what is so special about her in all honesty. First Lady? Big deal. Laura Bush has more class in her pinky finger. Also very offended at her telling the rest of us how to raise and feed our children. How ever did we manage before she came along? I don't understand her/their popularity with their spending and numerous expensive vacations. What have they done for this country besides divide it even more than it was before? This is my first time subscribing to this magazine but it will be my last.

Kay Lawton01.28.2012

To overuse an over-used expression..."really?" I am usually like a little kid with all kinds of curiosity, wondering who is going to be on the next month's cover. I have torn off this cover and practically hiddend the rest of them magazine from my husband... If you can't resist the political forces, at least keep with your equal presentations within one article about 'both sides.' Gee, where was the cover feature about a lady in every sense of hte meaning, Laura Bush? You've slid down a notch in my mind, unfortunately.


Thank you for featuring our amazing First Lady on your cover! She is a strong woman, a dedicated mother, and a class act. Michelle Obama is someone all our young women should aspire to emulate. The Obama Family is the epitome of Family Values~ parents who love & respect each other and teach their children the same love & respect for others.
Kudos More on a fabulous choice~ it brightened my day!

Ronda 01.26.2012

This was my first time reading MORE magazine. I thoroughly enjoyed so many articles. I had to let my girlfriend borrow the magazine since I talked so much about it. I loved the cover story on Michelle Obama. I was so impressed with the article about the couples in business I checked out Ajne perfumes and bought some samples! I look forward to the next issue of MORE

Barbara 01.26.2012

Podiatrists and orthopaedists rejoice! The style mavens at MORE magazine are suggesting that we trade-in our supportive and cushioned weekend-errand-running footwear for shapeless and flimsy flats. Like millions of mid-life women with early osteoarthritis, I dream of the day when a savvy and sensible designer will produce a shoe that combines the fashion consciousness of a Manolo and the health-consciousness of a Mephisto. Until then, I'll opt to be pain-free on Saturday mornings when I'm walking the hard concrete floors of my local grocery store.
P.S. Loved the rest of your issue.


I found the Emily Listfield article; How To Let Go of Wanting To Look Young, quite disturbing. Several times she referred to aging as being synonymous with losing one's looks. When did this attitude become MORE's? I look older than I did in my thirties, or even in my early forties for that matter, but it simply never occurred to me that I was losing my looks! Perhaps Ms. Listfield has never quite shed the image baggage of being a dancer, but isn't that why psychologists have years of supervision?


Hi Sue B. Hardesty,
I'm so sorry you were unable to find the gold Converse sneakers we featured in the February issue. It turns out that the particular pair we featured is not being sold online, but is available at their New York store. Their phone number is (212) 966-1099 and they'd be happy to ship them to you. Once again, sorry for the inconvenience. So glad you loved them!--Rebecca MacCurtain, Accessories Editor

I too was sickened when I saw the cover of the February issue. I could not read the article about Mrs. Obama for fear my head would explode. All I had to see were the first few sentences where she said that she wanted "to open a secret door that hadn't been opened to her" for disadvantaged girls. She went to Princeton and Harvard for pete's sake!!! She is the President's wife!!! What doors were not opened to her? What horrible miseries stood in her way on the road to Princeton. I really wish I knew, then I might understand her comment about her husband's election being the first time she has been proud to be an American.
You can cancel my subscription too. More magazine has succeeded in irritating the heck out of me.

Holly Tolley01.24.2012

Sorry, Lesley; but, the decision to put the First Lady on the cover during an election year was a wrong one. It implies a bias toward the party that is holding office; and, given the number of readers who are upset by that decision below, you might want to think about apologizing to your readers for the poor timing instead of making justifications for your decision.
Furthermore, you on on the cusp of losing me as a subscriber, as well. While I enjoyed your focus on fun and beauty at the helm of magazines I read when I was much younger, I've been extremely disappointed in the direction that More has taken with you at the helm. The magazine's focus has shifted too far in covering beauty and fashion, especially the anti-aging slant.
This magazine was supposed to be a celebration of older women, not something focused on trying to stop or turn back the hands of time. It would be nice if the magazine focused more on average American women's lives and issues. Most of us aren't former CEOs, celebrities, First Ladies or people starting charities in developing nations. Try to make the magazine relevant to its readers.

Just want to let you know that More has a history, like other magazines, of covering First Ladies--and as you know, there's only one at a time.. And we felt that Obama's mentoring program was newsworthy. As far as balancing coverage of women from both the right and left, I hope you do notice that we try as hard as we can to be even handed. We covered Cindy McCain just before she hit the campaign trail, Condi Rice when she was just leaving office, Meg Whitman when she was running for governor, Liz Cheney when she wrote her book with her dad, Lisa Murkowski's senate run, and in 2011 alone, two huge pieces about conservative women and politics (The Rise of the Mommy Patriots in May 2011 and Running for President in Heels which covered Bachmann and Palin in our December issue 2011). And just for the record: as soon as Palin was chosen VP, we were hot on her trail for a cover--for about a year and a half--but she declined--many times. And so far Ann Romney has passed on giving us an interview, though we haven't given up. No matter who becomes the next First Lady (we admit we were hoping for a him!), we will continue our tradition of asking her for a cover in the future.--Lesley Jane Seymour, Editor in Chief

Lori Nolan01.22.2012

Cancel my subscription! Michelle Obama....really??? Since when are you a political magazine? I will not even open this magazine. I am so disappointed in More.

Tanya 01.22.2012

Thank you for showcasing our first lady in such a beatiful light. Million of girls in America will be uplifted and inspired, as Iam I, to live a meaningful life. Love her and all she has done for America We are all blessed to have witnessed this presidency. Thank you for enlightening us.

CME 01.20.2012

When I went to my mailbox today and saw the February issue, I became ill seeing Michelle Obama on the front cover! Is there no end to the glorification of the liberals by the media? I think it's high time you did an article on some of the wonderful conservative women out there; Ann Romney or Carol Paul are an excellent start! By the way I just canceled my subscription online as I couldn't take a chance of finding another liberal getting publicity.

Christine 01.20.2012

I totally agree with Sandy. What a crushing disappointment to see Michelle on the cover of your magazine this month. I threw it away.
I don't remember seeing Laura Bush on the cover? How about Sarah Palin?
More (pun intended)agenda pushing by the media.
I just may cancel my subscription

Sue B Hardesty01.20.2012

Ever in search of cutting edge, youthful yet age appropriate wear has been a challenge for me - hence me being a huge fan of Stylebook, Fashion for Grownups (though I chafe at the Grownup title as well). Unfortunately, your column is apparently SO cutting edge that I rarely can find items featured that really make me go woo-hoo. This months woo-hoo was the gold sequin and canvas sneakers. I went to Converse.com with credit card in hand. After a 45 minute search along with an attempt to design my OWN shoes, I had absolutely no luck. I even spoke with the personal shoppers on the website and they had no idea what I was talking about. This is at least the third time this has happened to me. It's the little things that make me happy but feel like bigger things when they make me sad. Help? I need gold sequin happy feet to sustain my reputation as being first and foremost, fashion-wise. Actually, red sequin and canvas tennies could be even better? Help?

Sandy McMaster01.18.2012

I'm really disappointed that you fell for the "exclusive interview" which is really the Obama's way of kick starting the campaign. You got suckered by their PR machine. In fairness, are we going to get an exclusive interview/cover story with Ann Romney or Carol Paul?

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