In the late 1980s, my father bought me the premiere issues of two magazines – Mirabella (1989) and Sassy (1988). While I never fully connected with either of them — Mirabella was too mature, Sassy too young — I would later develop an appreciation for how much of an early adopter my Depression-era dad really was.
Lesser’s blog post builds upon a book that was published a few years ago, How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time. Here is an excerpt from Lesser’s post:
“I’m reading this now and am now intrigued that it may be a hidden cultural watershed for many Gen-X women…
“It wasn’t necessarily for extreme grunge or Riot Grrrls. It was
for girls like me from small suburban/rural towns who just didn’t quite fit in with the Seventeen Magazine crowd. I never wanted to be a Heather, I always associated myself with Veronica. It’s hard to imagine how different Sassy was than everything else on the market. Teen magazines then, and now, try to promote a “Heathers” lifestyle – be pretty, popular, and smart (but not too smart). If you are a Boomer, insert “Stepford” for “Heathers.” Sassy Magazine was Veronica. Smart, pretty, and kind of pissed off — but in a parentally approved, pre-homicidal kind of way. Just daring enough to piss off Jerry Falwell, but not get you grounded or incarcerated.
Sassy, which has a cult following on Facebook, was founded by an Australian feminist who based it on the teen magazine Dolly, which is still in publication in Australia.