If you recognize the magazine cover above then maybe you were something like me growing up. I’ve written in this blog several times about my great love for glossy fashion magazines, but it took one article in The New York Times (Jane Pratt, Unbound and Ready for the Web) to remind me of the most significant glossy magazine from my teenage years. The article describes the long-gone but not forgotten Sassy as “the anti-Seventeen”, and I can’t think of a better description myself for this now defunct magazine. My magazine obsession began with Teen and Seventeen, but I could never relate to the girls in those magazines. I looked nothing like them, wasn’t cool or popular, and had terrible skin. When I found Sassy I found a magazine for girls like me. The magazine really felt like it was written for intelligent teenagers who didn’t want to be like everyone else, who were happy being themselves, and didn’t mind being a little quirky. Sassy introduced me to music, movies, and books that weren’t necessarily mainstream but were cool. The fashion was funky and fresh. Damn! Why did I throw my old issues away??? After reading The New York Times article I spent an afternoon feeling really nostalgic for both Sassy and even a little bit for that time in my life which is crazy since you would have to pay me millions (or even billions) to relive those years. Suffice it to say, Sassy had quite the impact on my life. I mean they put Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love on the cover of their magazine (long before Love cleaned herself up briefly).
So the article in The New York Times is all about Jane Pratt, the founding editor of Sassy and later of Jane (personally I never liked Jane as much as Sassy though I wanted to). It turns out that Pratt has recently launched a new lifestyle website – xoJane. Just like the magazines Pratt edited in the past this website has an edge. Some of the content is not for the faint of heart. I liked the fact that The New York Times article described it as “the anti-iVillage”. Well I just had to check it. I concentrated on reading the articles in the beauty section which are written in a cheeky, irrelevant, intimate tone. If you want scientific facts about skincare and make-up look elsewhere (like this blog, of course), but if you want to feel like you are getting beauty advice from your slightly bawdy yet very cool girlfriend be sure to check out the articles on this site. I also liked the fact that the authors of the articles really responded to reader comments though I was a bit shocked by how rude some of the reader comments were.
I really wish teenage girls today had a magazine like Sassy. Just remember – just because you don’t look like the girls in Seventeen or Teen Vogue doesn’t mean that you aren’t cool. All the clichés are true – believe in yourself, don’t let others define you, and college is much better than high school. Now if only I had saved those Sassy magazines.
Update: It turns out that there is a revival of Sassy in the works. Read all about it.