I still miss ‘Sassy’ magazine, which says a lot – it’s been nearly 30 years since it appeared on the scene. For reasons I can’t possibly fathom, the premiere issue showed up in the local drug store in my hometown in Canada – I picked it up and took it home, based on the cover alone….and the world as I knew it changed. When I finished my first run through of those pages, I shared it with my BFF – and she became as hooked as I was. The first few months, we would hit the store daily to see when the next issue would appear – until my mom let me buy her a subscription for her birthday, and my mom ordered me one, too (easier to live with when we each had our own copy, I guess). ‘Sassy’ was a window into a world that was so far removed from the one that I was living in – the New York music and fashion scene of the late ’80s, the writers were more like characters than anything (Christina Kelly is a goddess as far as I’m concerned)…and I wanted to live a life like theirs more than I can possibly tell you. I liked the layout that the magazine used – and I knew NOTHING about graphic design and layouts. I was heartbroken when the editor Jane Pratt left ‘Sassy’, as the entire tone of the magazine changed…and it just wasn’t the same without her. I was thrilled when she started ‘Jane’ a few years later, and read that one religiously until she moved on (Jane keeps doing that to me) – and, while not quite ‘Sassy’ 2.0, it was pretty damn close. There is something about Jane’s writing, her editorial work, and the teams that she puts together that really speak to me.
I’ve really been thinking about ‘Sassy’ and what it meant to me lately, as my Wee One is going to be 10 this weekend (I can’t even), and she is soon to be hitting those really critical teen years that will pretty much make or break the rest of her life. I want her to have something like ‘Sassy’ to show her the way, to guide her through the slings and arrows of bitchy teenaged life (especially Middle School…holy shit am I nervous about that black hole of doom). I want her to not fall into the cesspool of popularity and superficiality; I want her to have some depth in that sweet little noggin of hers. I want her to have ‘Sassy’ to give her a leg up – even though the world today is dramatically different than what it was when the magazine first came out, teenagers are teenagers, and people are people…reading it certainly won’t hurt! 😉 I’ve picked up a few old issues on eBay (woohoo!), and once I’ve finished devouring them again, I will be sure to pass them on to her – hopefully they will mean something to her as well. 🙂
I’m not the only one with the ‘Sassy’ obsession – there are a bunch of online shrines devoted to the magazine, which is really something when you think about it. A publication, from over 25 years ago, still has the cult following that it once had. I have been a reader of XOJane, the online publication that Jane Pratt is behind now, but it sure as hell is nowhere near the same as the magazine. It started out a whole lot closer to it, with regular writers that we readers became attached to, but…it, too, has seemed to have lost its way, and I have stopped caring about the site a lot – instead, I follow the writers that I like on social media, and keep up with them that way (I’m talking about you Emily McCombs and Mandy Stadtmiller!). I wish Jane would go back to a magazine-style of publication, done online, maybe two issues a month, with the tone and feel of her previous work – I predict that she’d have a massive success on her hands. She should probably hire me to be part of it – I’m ready when you are Jane. Put me in coach – I’ve been waiting about 25 years. 😉