In the 1990s, alternative was king, we all experimented with Manic Panic hair dye, Doc Martens and striped tights, and we all read Sassy magazine.
The glossy pages aimed at teenage girls was empowering to a new set of confident young women who knew that they could be anything they wanted.
Founding Editor-in-chief Jane Pratt was a bastion of successful indie-cool and most likely forged my own most humble desires to be a writer and journalist. Sassy also created two very important precursors to today’s interactive citizen journalism: the annual readers issue, a yearly endeavor where Sassy staff stayed out of the editorial decision-making, and Zine of the month, the first mainstream light on the underground world of old school “paper blogs.”
The world has changed a lot in two decades. But what hasn’t changed is the desire for teenage girls to have a voice and to see themselves represented in a way that is not all about Gossip Girl and Justin Bieber squealing. So Jane Pratt is back, and she’s bringing a real live teenage girl writer with her. Fourteen year old style blog wunderkind Tavi Gevinson, who has been penning her own musings online since 2008 when she was 11, wrote that she will be teaming up with Pratt in the as-yet-unnamed Sassy 2.0:
The magazine is supposed to have a masthead by the end of the month with plans to launch a website in the spring and an initial issue Fall 2011.
While I’m inclined towards big excitement, both to see a new generation of powerful young women as well as reveling in the nostalgia of my own youth, I understand the waryness of Bitch magazine founder and early Sassy devotee Andi Zeisler.
She raises the point that while it may sound exciting to give Gevinson some more marketing backing what she has created is perhaps already better than anything that Pratt could step in to help with. Does this new generation need a glossy rag with polish and a famous Editor at its helm or is it the age when an 11-year-old can set up her own blog and have complete editorial control and an infinite amount of reader feedback already built in to the 21st century technology?
It’s also worth noting that both Sassy and Jane were fairly queer-inclusive, more than other women’s magazines, and Jane, herself, isn’t super-straight — she once dated Drew Barrymore.
How do you feel about Jane’s return to the publishing industry?