Thursday, July 28, 2011

Still sassy after all these years.

I was all over Seventeen magazine as a teenager, I loved to cut out pictures from it and make collages that I kept in a three ring notebook. Or I would type out the awful, heartbreak related poetry that was featured in the back and submit it to my poor English teacher, Mr. Jakob as a writing project.

Uplifting, for sure - I got a "B".
Poor Mr. Jakob.

I have to admit, the poetry and the ads for the Gunne Sax prom dresses were about all I could relate to in Seventeen. The magazine was too much for the cheerleader, the dance team member, the popular girl. In my dreams I was that girl but in reality I was not.

Then along came a magazine for teenage girls that made me feel okay with the fact that I was not any of those things – Sassy magazine saved me.

Sassy was for the girl who was a theatre geek, listened to REM, and had a crush on Robert Downey, Jr. (check, check, and check.) There was no sappy poetry in Sassy, but there were articles about the Amazon rainforest. While Seventeen had articles on how to get rid of zits, Sassy was telling you zits could be viewed as beauty marks. Sassy even told me it was okay not to have a boyfriend – an unthinkable concept that I had trouble wrapping my head and giant hair around.

The magazine also talked openly about important real life topics like sex and STD’s, - not just focusing on fashion and boys. They had articles with titles like, “How to Drive Your Mother Crazy”, “Skater Boys – Asexual or Not?” and “16 Flawless Hair Goops.” Now these were stories I could relate to. The writing style was smart and funny. You knew the writers by their first names, Catherine, Mary-Kaye, and their brilliant editor Jane Pratt.

I had and still do have a secret girl crush on Jane. I always felt like we could be friends, like she was speaking directly to me. I also loved the fact that we shared a mutual love/admiration of Michael Stipe. And I totally flipped out when she was in the “Shiny Happy People” video in that sassy black daisy dress.

And can we talk about the Sassy covers???

I was always so excited to open the mailbox and see what cool girl or hot guy was gracing the cover – Johnny Depp? Hello May, 1990. Keanu Reeves? Yes, please. And Kurt Cobain getting a smooch planted on him by Courtney Love? The coolest couple on the planet? YES!

If Sassy magazine was still being published I never would have stopped my subscription – it was so much more than a teen magazine to me. When I was eighteen and preparing to move with my family across the country I cut out a little quote from one of the writers, saying “Wow. I know a guy in Oregon. He is very into nature. A very simple and beautiful man." When I saw that in Sassy it made me feel just a little bit better about moving, like okay, if someone at Sassy knows a cool guy in Oregon, I might be okay.

Sassy was like a good girlfriend who would never judge you. Seventeen was that “friend” who always kind of made you feel a little bad about yourself and you couldn’t figure out why.

I use the word “sassy” like crazy today in a variety of ways. Like, “hey Kristen, that dress is sassy on you” or “doesn’t that make you want to go out and get all sassy?” or “I’m feeling sassy...let’s go upstairs.”

Sassy never left me, and I am so grateful for that.

PS- could I say sassy one more time? SASSY!


  1. I remember that EXACT Gunne Sax picture/ad!

    I agree, 'Sassy' was the PERFCET magazine for you:o)

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