If you’re a female in her mid-20s, you probably remember Sassy, the awesome magazine that was everything Teen and Seventeen were not. There is a great article on Nerve.com right now that is apparently excerpted from a book due out in April. Go read it: Cute Band Alert: How Sassy Magazine Created a New Sex Object. The article talks a lot about how Sassy introduced the “indie rock sensitive boy” to the lineup of male stereotypes for teenage girls to lust after. It also hits upon and hints at some other reasons why the magazine was so great. I remember being completely disgusted when my subscription to Sassy turned into a subscription to Teen when Sassy folded. For a little while there was a section of Teen that tried to be a mini-Sassy, but failed miserably. I’ll be interested to check out this book when it’s published.
I trace my dislike of magazines like Cosmo (yeah, I’ll look through it if someone has it around–it’s like a car wreck, you can’t take your eyes away) to my early embrace of Sassy. That’s why I was so excited when Jane debuted–same editor, it’ll have to rock, right! Eh. I was a subscriber for a couple of years, but then let it lapse. For me, they were tipping too much towards Cosmo–good feature articles on important topics, but turn the page and there’s the ridiculous fashion spread featuring clothes that no one I know wore (or could afford, or even think about affording). After a while, every issue I was thinking “gee, I’m really not their demographic. Their demographic is clearly more trendy and well-off than I am.” So that was the end of that.
I’m still on the lookout for the adult woman’s version of Sassy. I like Bitch, because of the interesting, intelligent articles, and the feminist POV. I was picking up Bust for a little while, but that wasn’t quite right for whatever reason. Who knows. Maybe I’m just too picky. I’ll stick to the New Yorker and Wired, which I think balances the pretentiousness of the former pretty well.