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February 24, 2012 3:50 PM   Subscribe

150 things to read, watch and listen to, so you don’t die of boredom this summer... according to Sassy Magazine, July 1990.
posted by mippy (87 comments total) 156 users marked this as a favorite

 
Holy crap, this is completely awesome.
posted by koeselitz at 3:57 PM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


How you know Sassy was the shit: They recommended The Graduate to teenage girls with only the caveat "Potentially embarrassing if viewed with the folks." Oh okay then!
posted by Snarl Furillo at 4:00 PM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


so it turns out I have the exact same tastes as a 14 year old girl in 1990.

*sigh* of course I do.
posted by The Whelk at 4:00 PM on February 24, 2012 [26 favorites]


You have NO IDEA how much I wish I had Sassy growing up. We had Just Seventeen, which in the early nineties clearly heavily modelled themselves after Sassy (lots of grunge rather than boyband posters and a sex advice page written in some weird argot - 'My own right breast is a tad bigger than its' left comrade' etc.) but I doubt it was anywhere near as awesome. It's not so easy to get Bust and Bitch over here, and I so wish there was a women's magazine that took that spirit . (Oh Comely is the closest - fashion interspersed with guides to building your own coracle - but it's a bit kinda bunting-and-Instagram if you know what I mean.) Maybe I should just pretend to be 15 and read Rookie instead.
posted by mippy at 4:00 PM on February 24, 2012


Wow, I was prepared for some abysmal garbage but was pleasantly surprised.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:01 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sadly I can't afford the shipping cost and space to get copies now, though. Maybe it'll turn up on the Google magazine scan thingy in the future. See also: Smash Hits, 1986-1996.
posted by mippy at 4:02 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man, I wish I'd known how completely awesome Sassy Magazine was. My childhood would have been immeasurably richer.
posted by koeselitz at 4:04 PM on February 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Daaaaaaang. Flood of memories associated with that. I absolutely LOVED Sassy. I remember that issue...immediately recognized the cover...didn't die of boredom that summer. Good times, thanks for posting this!
posted by iamkimiam at 4:04 PM on February 24, 2012


This booklet is just amazing to me, because it shows how much work you had to do as a teen Gen X-er in the pre-Internet era if you wanted to find anything remotely cool. If you wanted to find something cool, you actively had to seek it out. You had to do research. Now with the Internet, everything is just a click away.
posted by jonp72 at 4:04 PM on February 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


aw, that is great (the story of how she loved the booklet and then found a copy after all these years). It does throw into contrast how teenagers must find stuff like that today vs pre-web.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:06 PM on February 24, 2012


Awesome. Thanks for this, mippy. This will totally help me not die of boredom 22 summers later.
posted by cairdeas at 4:06 PM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


I seem to remember a lot of books that where just like lists of "cool shit you should be into" pre-internet and then going to library with said list and between the gaps in the collection and mis-remembering names you'd end up taking home and being exposed to the oddest stuff.
posted by The Whelk at 4:07 PM on February 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


I just took a 150 question quiz to let me know if I was neurotypical or has Adperger's that felt pretty spot on. (Spoiler: Mostlu typical)

I haven't R all of TFA but am pretty sure this list could be a same quiz for:

Could you have been a best friend from high school for MCMikeNamara?
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:09 PM on February 24, 2012


I wouldn't oversell the instant access of the internet, though. Kids may or may not know about these things now but actually reading/hearing/seeing them is something else.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:10 PM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes, mippy, one way the internet has failed me is by its severe lack of scans of old Sassy issues*. This post gives a temporary reprieve, but I really feel like the world is lacking the source knowledge of when Jane made her first reference to crush Evan Dando (which I now think was faked, but whatever, Dando + Hatfield 4EVA).

One year (94 or 95 maybe?) Sassy sent out a compilation CD, I have been dying to recreate it, but I don't remember all the songs. I remember it had a Lemonheads song (probably "It's a Shame About Ray"), Juliana's "My Sister", Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and Lenny Kravitz (I think it was "Heaven Help"). One day I will probably post an AskMe about it.

*totally trolling for links here, if you got 'em, post 'em.
posted by sarahnade at 4:11 PM on February 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


Man, Daughter of Time is a blast to read.
posted by tzikeh at 4:14 PM on February 24, 2012


They suggest The Fountainhead will stave off boredom?
posted by Bromius at 4:15 PM on February 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


when the library copy you have will magically open to That Scene, as if held folded back there by a generation of hands, well ...you wont be bored.
posted by The Whelk at 4:16 PM on February 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


(and by my previous comment I don't mean to suggest I was necessarily a cool kid, just that I was lucky enough to be befriended by those awesome young women...and by "was", I also mean "am still")
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:18 PM on February 24, 2012


I remember reading studying this issue while camping near Yosemite (because there was like nothing to do and I was like totally bored)- thinking that I'd get a jumpstart on being a real teenager if I read/watched/listened to all this.
posted by variella at 4:28 PM on February 24, 2012


Damn....I was male, almost 30 and owned a shitload of the movies, and albums.
posted by timsteil at 4:31 PM on February 24, 2012


metafilter : Cute boy fest/There's no way you'll guess the ending/Potentially embarrassing if viewed with the folks
posted by crunchland at 4:32 PM on February 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


I was sixteen and working in a hospital gift shop on the Friday 4-8pm shift when Sassy first came out. I was so bored at that job because after all the nurses came in at 6 to buy lotto tickets and licorice I saw almost no one for the rest of the shift. So I spent a lot of time reading every single magazine they had, which was about 80 different titles. Of course, I loved Sassy. I was already in love with magazines and mainstream pop culture, but Sassy was just a little bit to the edge of where I could be in that small town and still be "normal". It was awesome. The meta-commentary about publishing a magazine that was ongoing where you got to know staff members and writers was a precursor to blogging (well, I think, at least) and the genesis of my move after grad school from tinytown Canada to New York City. I bought every issue that they ever published and they sat in my bedroom closet until after I graduated college when, in a fit of decorating pique, my mother decided to swap my bedroom with their "office" (formerly my brother's room) and... TOSSED THEM ALL OUT.

I love my mother tremendously. She's an amazing woman and I hope that, despite our ongoing differences about the state of my hair, we remain best friends until we're no longer on this earth. But a tiny, hard, piece of my heart will never EVER forgive her.
posted by marylynn at 4:33 PM on February 24, 2012 [10 favorites]


Holy crap this is an impeccable list for just about anyone. That some theoretical tween girl out there in 1990 was reading Breton, watching Repo Man and listening to Marquee Moon because of this magazine makes me immeasurably happy.
posted by naju at 4:34 PM on February 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


I was too young for grunge and it never really had the same traction here - by the mid-90s we were doing Britpop and its lovely faux-working-class pomosexual stylings. Bjork and Justine Frischmann were being held up as a role model in teen mags here rather than Juliana Hatfield. There was Select, but it was a bit too cool for me, a magazine for people who weren't scared of alcohol. Sassy seems to fall in the middle from what I see.

I was either too young or too indifferent to be sad over Kurt;s death, though in my late teens I'd bought a book about fanzines and a Sleater-Kinney CD on a Californian holiday and I really really wanted Riot Grrl to happen again. I still remember bumping into an old crush in town in my stripey tights, wool kilt and The Hot Rock t-shirt and seeing his discomfort at being around someone who dressed so 'weird', and feeling a little bit smug at provoking a reaction. When I see bits of Sassy around the web, I think of that moment and I think it was aimed at the kind of girl I was then, someone who wanted to dig their own damn groove. What do girls like that grow up to read? Cosmo? Vogue? The Word?
posted by mippy at 4:34 PM on February 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


It occurred to me the other day that I hadn't experienced the feeling of boredom since I was in my thirties. Since then I've found that I can be content when lots of stuff is engaging me and I can also be content when absolutely nothing is going on. It's a nice feeling. I seem to recall that boredom was not a nice feeling.
posted by Decani at 4:34 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]



They suggest The Fountainhead will stave off boredom?

I was reading a women's-mag column about internet dating the other week and the author was meeting a chap in a pub. 'He was reading The Fountainhead (swooooooon).' If a friend had responded to my 'Let me know if he looks like a weirdo' text with that, I would have responded with 'RUN. AWAY.'
posted by mippy at 4:37 PM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


I remember getting this issue the summer before my sophomore year of high school. I had purchased a subscription to Sassy with cash I sent folded into a sheet of yellow legal paper with an address for a friend's house because my mom found the magazine completely inappropriate.

That summer, my grandmother was dying of cancer and my family was just an epic mess. Epic. I still have my diary entries from making my way through the lists in that booklet interspersed with entries on what it's like to watch someone you love die and your parents act crazy about it (I kept the booklet folded in half in the back of my diary). The library helped with most of the books that I hadn't already read. The videos were harder--I couldn't always get a car to go to the video store and often had to walk, and then there was trying to figure out where to watch them. I didn't get through very many of the movies.

The music list changed my life. Just prior to that, my freshmen year, it seemed like there were all of these boys discovering "important" music. I don't know why the boys were getting the attention for doing that. I remember listening to a Nick Cave tape in this guy's car in the parking lot of the junior high around that time and being so incredibly moved and he accused me of saying I liked it because I liked him (I didn't like him. He had a tape player in his car). So, the music list made me freak out and my heart beat faster as I read it.

Some of the albums I could listen to at the library in a listening carrel. That was the hardest way because you were limited to 45 minutes. If there wasn't anyone around, you could get away with longer, but not always. And you couldn't check out albums for home and I am one of those people who wants to listen to the same song on repeat all day. Especially that summer. I found out you could also check out tape recorders. So I bought a big pack of tapes (no small expense at the time), went the library on a slow afternoon, checked out a tape recorder and snuck it into the listening carrel with the Eartha Kitt album. I got maybe three songs in before the librarian caught me.

So then I figured out that around 11 pm at night I could tune into a local college radio show that would take requests. So I took the tapes I bought along with my friend's borrowed boombox and every night I would request 4-5 songs from a selection of those albums and carefully tape them. This ridiculously tedious project of library listening, radio recording, purchasing three of the albums on the list with carefully saved babysitting money (The Thes, Nick Cave, REM), and borrowing a few albums from a flush older boy cousin got me close to making deep headway into that list around the time of my grandmother's funeral and the first few days of my sophomore year.

I can't put my finger on the metamorphosis, the how of it, but there was one. I showed up at school sad but knowing important things about myself that year that I think gave me some power to survive high school despite being a weird girl with a badly dysfunctional family. I was never afraid, either, of those boys who would decamp at tables in the high school cafeteria talking music because they were all worked up about Out of Time and I already knew Murmur was one of REM's last great albums and some of them hadn't even heard it.

I can't find the booklet now, I just have the diary, so I am so glad to have the download and this post, too. When I looked at the scan it was like Proust's cookies. I could smell the library and hear the voice of that nice college DJ and fell how hot it was the day my grandmother was buried.

And of course, like others have said, the list became the anchors for bands I have discovered in the nearly 25 years since. I guess there is some heroics in what I went through to get that music, but I'm glad music is so much more accessible now. I'm glad there's a way for high school girls to find a personal soundtrack to embroider their summers and still have time to live a little. Fuck, that summer was hard.
posted by rumposinc at 5:01 PM on February 24, 2012 [212 favorites]


I was pleasantly shocked by the movie choices. I figured it would just be one of those 'look how awful 19XX was' kind of things, but it seems someone at Sassy actually thought 'there are some good movies, lets get kids to watch them.'

I mean, suggesting Repo Man to bored teenagers in summer? That's just dangerous, man.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:01 PM on February 24, 2012


Sassy was awesome. What's the contemporary equivalent? Magazine for teenagers, mostly girls, and not stupid?
posted by Nelson at 5:06 PM on February 24, 2012


Pretty great list, even if The Fountainhead made it on the book list. Unless it was as a warning.
posted by maxwelton at 5:06 PM on February 24, 2012


They are recommending the movies "Diva" and "The River's Edge"? I loved those movies! I was so sure that I was the only person in the world who had seen those! (And they are right about Keanu. He was was perfect as the disaffected 17 year old boy.)

I'm going to use this book list this summer.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 5:08 PM on February 24, 2012


This is a deliciously awesome list.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:15 PM on February 24, 2012


> I seem to recall that boredom was not a nice feeling.

There's nothing worse than a bored man.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:17 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy shit, how was Sassy of all things this hip? How did it possibly have this kind of discerning taste? In 1990!

Because I'll tell you one thing right now. If I had wonken up this morning and been informed that by day's enbd I would see a scan of Sassy that told teenage girls to check out Blood Simple I would have said you were a filthy liar.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:22 PM on February 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Rumposinc, that was one of the more beautiful narratives I've encountered on the Internet lately. Thank you for sharing with us!
posted by gusandrews at 5:34 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, hello, my adolescence. Nice of you to pop in.
posted by mykescipark at 5:37 PM on February 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, Sassy! I remember you. And I remember this booklet. I read it cover to cover. It was a huge influence on my media consumption that year. I grew up in a hick town and I was socially isolated and intellectually starved. This magazine gave me the tools I needed to go to university and have a great social life. I didn't have the money to go after the music, but I could at least respond intelligently if someone mentioned the artists in this booklet. Books (used book store and library) and movies (rental) were easier to seek out. Nowadays, I suppose you could just download it all.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 6:45 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy crap. I wasted my childhood on Boys Life. (Oh, sure, they ran Space Conquerors!, but is that enough? No!) Was there ever a Sassy for boys? (And, no, Mechanics Illustrated and the Edmund Scientifics catalog don't count!)
posted by SPrintF at 6:48 PM on February 24, 2012


Sassy for boys was USENET

It wasn't as good.
posted by The Whelk at 6:51 PM on February 24, 2012 [15 favorites]


Was there ever a Sassy for boys? (And, no, Mechanics Illustrated and the Edmund Scientifics catalog don't count!)
I believe there was briefly a Sassy for boys called Dirt, but I don't think it ever took off.

I don't remember this booklet at all, but it so matches what I was listening to, watching and reading in high school that I think I must have been influenced by it. I think I remember the cover. I was a little obsessed with Sassy in the summer of 1990.
posted by craichead at 6:54 PM on February 24, 2012


It looks like if you are an adorable 14-year-old boy and ask very nicely, Jane Pratt might send you a copy of Dirt.
posted by craichead at 6:59 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


In 1991, Sassy named the Cult of the Dead Cow its "Sassiest Underground Computer Group". True fact.
posted by scalefree at 7:00 PM on February 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


When I see bits of Sassy around the web, I think of that moment and I think it was aimed at the kind of girl I was then, someone who wanted to dig their own damn groove. What do girls like that grow up to read? Cosmo? Vogue? The Word?

I won't pretend to speak for the rest of us, but I think the answer is we read (and wear) whatever the hell we want.

and damned if I don't *still* listen and watch half the stuff on that list. They're missing some Smiths, Cure, and Nina Simone, though. Don't hate!
posted by smirkette at 7:28 PM on February 24, 2012


sassy was awesome. I still have my copy with Kurt and Courtney on the cover looking very happy.

I think quite frequently about a letter to the editor from an angry father. sassy had done an article about strippers and how they were our sisters. this angry dad wrote in that in no way was his daughter sisters with strippers and he was cancelling her subscription.

I felt bad for her that she was missing out on such a great magazine and hoped she till got it from the store.

for some reason whenever I think of that I also think of another article they did about the championship of hotel maids..an actual contest about making beds really fast and stuff. it wasn't all fluff... they asked about how hard the work was and everything and probably the low pay. they didn't glam it up. but they were very proud of the girls who went and did this, that they were the best they at what they were doing.

and I guess it was that respect for women who I later learned were an underclass, strippers and maids, that really endeared Sassy to me. they were real in a way that cosmo and seventeen never were. I didn't really understand it then the way I've just stated it, but I don't know of any other girls magazine like that today.
posted by sio42 at 7:52 PM on February 24, 2012 [9 favorites]


> I guess there is some heroics in what I went through to get that music, but I'm glad music is so much more accessible now.

It is great, but one downside to it is that there won't be any more awesome, vivid stories like yours.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:58 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I remember Chloe Sevigny making frequent appearance in Sassy (because she was the Sassiest of Sassy, you know). This just confirmed that for me.
posted by medeine at 8:17 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I read The Fountainhead when I was a teenager. If you're going to read Rand, at least that one seems to fuck people up a lot less than Atlas Shrugged.
posted by Naberius at 8:23 PM on February 24, 2012


As a teenaged boy, I loved Sassy. Enough to ask my mom to get a subscription for my...sister. She didn't fall for it.
posted by ColdChef at 8:33 PM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


As a teenaged boy, I loved Sassy. Enough to ask my mom to get a subscription for my...sister. She didn't fall for it.

I was a teenaged boy in those days too, and I preferred to hang out with the girls who read Sassy. It probably gave me better taste in women as a result.
posted by jonp72 at 8:41 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


In 1993 I found a stash of old Sassy issues in the trash outside a used books shop in a small Mexican beach town. I read them all, and I loved them. I was a teenage boy at the time, and it was the first time in my life were something made for girls was better than anything made for boys.

I fantazised about meeting a Sassy reading girl for years, but it never happened.

Now that my sister has a baby girl I am really worried that nothing so good will be available for her.

As a big bearded man I find it very hard to ask sassy 15 year old girls for recommendations. Expect an askMe from me in about 12 years.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 8:43 PM on February 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


More Sassy Scans.

I think The Fountainhead is hilarious. I just bought a copy the other day so I can make fun of Dominique some more. That never gets old!
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:54 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


What's the contemporary equivalent?

I think the closest thing is Rookie. It has a lot of almost surprisingly good stuff (much like this list from Sassy) and it's the only teen girl magazine I can read as a lady in her 30's without despairing for future generations.
posted by grapesaresour at 9:31 PM on February 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Sassy spinoff for boys was called Dirt and (fun fact), Spike Jonze was one of its editors.
posted by marylynn at 9:57 PM on February 24, 2012


Holy shit, making out for the first time with cute girls and listening to Roxy Music on the beach in California in the summer of 1987. I've spent 25 years looking for and failing to find a more powerful intoxicant.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:30 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


The music list in that scan is really surprisingly awesome and, coincidentally, very very much like the heart of my itunes library.

Teenage/post-teenage girls told to listen to Television, old ska, D.C. go-go bands, old ska, Nick Lowe, the Buzzcocks? Those were the days.
posted by C.A.S. at 1:19 AM on February 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


There are some fantastic choices there. Thanks for posting this.
posted by arcticseal at 7:36 AM on February 25, 2012


What a great list, but I don't recall a single one of the books they mentioned were coming out that year. Kudos for mentioning XTC and The (English) Beat, too.
posted by tommasz at 8:17 AM on February 25, 2012


Was there ever a Sassy for boys?

As a late-80s era teen boy (graduated high school 1990), my Sassy was a book I found in my local library, Gene Sculatti's Catalog of Cool. It made me want to wear black, listen to the Velvet Underground, read A Confederacy of Dunces, and watch Diva relentlessly.
posted by jonp72 at 9:30 AM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I put all of the albums I could find in a spotify playlist if anyone wants to take Sassy's recommendations this summer. You can find it here if you have spotify!
posted by kms at 9:58 AM on February 25, 2012 [16 favorites]


Jesus, kms, what kills me about that playlist (thank you so much, subscribed) is that spotify says it's one day's worth of music. How many minutes worth of clicks to have all those albums in one place theoretically listenable to in 24 hours? I need to go find some programmer to make out with this summer while I relisten to that list.
posted by rumposinc at 10:11 AM on February 25, 2012


grapesaresour: "I think the closest thing is Rookie. It has a lot of almost surprisingly good stuff (much like this list from Sassy) and it's the only teen girl magazine I can read as a lady in her 30's without despairing for future generations"

Holy shit! I first heard about Tavi Gevinson on this AskMe, but I must have slacked off on reading her blog, because I had no clue she'd launched a magazine.

At the rate she's going, it's entirely possible she'll have achieved world domination before she's old enough to vote.
posted by the latin mouse at 10:12 AM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Argh. Whenever Sassy comes up, I'm reminded that one of my greatest regrets is pitching my big pile of them before a cross-country move in 2000. Why, oh why did I do that?
posted by jocelmeow at 10:19 AM on February 25, 2012


I think the reason that boys are always causing trouble like pulling hair and running red lights and starting wars is because girls are simply more awesome thanks to things like Sassy and, well, what can you do with that knowledge once it comes home? Yes, of course: stomp around the house, slam your bedroom door and invade Poland.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:39 AM on February 25, 2012


Holy shit, how was Sassy of all things this hip? How did it possibly have this kind of discerning taste? In 1990!

Navelgazer, were you not familiar with it before the mid-90s and the buy-out by Petersen Publishing, which eventually rolled it into Teen" (Retrospective by BLAIR, including an amusing e-mail granting permission for the retrospective.) Because in the early '90s, Sassy was fantastic. Christina Kelly's taste in music, in particular, pretty much never steered me wrong.
posted by EvaDestruction at 10:42 AM on February 25, 2012


Oh, how I loved Sassy! I remember carefully saving up a few unread issues to take with me to summer camp just so I could devour them whole while there.
posted by miskatonic at 10:52 AM on February 25, 2012


I'm pretty sure I have my REM flexidisc somewhere. But apart from a few issues I had misplaced, my mother pitched all of my issues of Sassy (starting with the first issue and ending at some point when it started to suck). My issues of Spy magazine also ended up in the trash. Sigh. Kids these days don't have to worry about such things since the cool stuff is online.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 11:27 AM on February 25, 2012


Oh, Sassy. I had a subscription from about 1991 until the buy-out (when my cool mom helped me call up and huffily cancel my subscription in protest). I never got ahold of the booklet, but the regular magazine was equally fantastic. I have Sassy to thank for making me aware of David Lynch, Quentin Tarantino, zine culture, The Sundance Film Festival, Helium, Throwing Muses, The Stooges, and Devo... and those are just the ones I remember off the top of my head. Also, the 1994 Sassiest Girl in America, Malikah, helped inspire me to start playing the violin, which I still do today.

Since Sassy was the first teenage girl magazine I really read (before that the only subscriptions I had were Discovery Kids and National Geographic Zoobooks), I was completely dismayed when I first opened a Seventeen. The fashion and makeup parts looked the same, sort of, but I just kept thinking, "Where are all the articles about gangs and waitresses? Why is the sex advice from 1955?"
posted by Nibbly Fang at 11:53 AM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Phil Hartman was great in Sassy's Sassiest Boys on SNL.
posted by lamp at 11:56 AM on February 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Heh, Heathers. My sister (named Heather, incidentally) made me record it from HBO for her the night it "premiered". It was only later that I figured out how to work the timer on that particular VCR. Since the VCR in question was a very early VHS model, it had no timer (or even a clock!), so I had to remember to hit the button at the right time. It all seems so archaic now.

Also, that film doesn't make a lot of sense to 10 year olds. It wasn't until later that I actually figured out what the hell it all meant.
posted by wierdo at 12:33 PM on February 25, 2012


Sassy for boys was USENET

This is probably a computer-y joke I don't get but Sassy for boys was called "Dirt". It wasn't that good. Well, from a 14 yr old girl's perspective.

I remember the Kurt Cobain cover, even the sweater he was wearing and the magazine's obsession with the model Shalom Harlow and the weird dating segments they did where each person gave their account of how it went. (I apparently still write like a 14 yr old, and probably think like one too.)

That magazine was so great at the time. I remember studying 'how to flirt' so intently but apparently I still didn't get it because here I am...20 years later still wondering the same thing!
posted by bquarters at 3:16 PM on February 25, 2012


This is seriously the best thread ever. <3 <3 <3 Sassy!
posted by DarlingBri at 7:00 PM on February 25, 2012


So, okay.
I am pretty (90%) sure that I have several years worth of Sassy issues in my garage. I remember organizing them and wondering if there'd be a market for my collection.
I think I got rid of my extensive YM collection, but the Sassy issues I just couldn't part with.
I'll have a looksee in the next day or two and report back, if anyone is interested.
posted by ApathyGirl at 7:33 PM on February 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I straight-up owe Sassy for influencing pretty much all of the awesome women in my life, excepting perhaps my mom.
posted by incessant at 7:43 PM on February 25, 2012


Was there ever a Sassy for boys?

Of course there was. It was called "Your Sister's Old Copies of Sassy." True facts.
posted by longtime_lurker at 9:27 PM on February 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


I was graduating from my university's journalism school about the time of this issue, and typed up a very over-the-top letter to the editors of Sassy explaining why I, a guy in his early twenties, would be a perfect columnist for Sassy. This letter even suggested the perks and expense account I felt I deserved. I have little memory of why I did this except as a lark to share with my friends, but the rejection letter was on very sassy light blue letterhead with dark blue faux paint splashes all over it.
posted by planetkyoto at 5:45 AM on February 26, 2012


ApathyGirl - Oh please please please try and scan in a whole issue if you can. They do apparently sell on eBay (I looked once, and remembered how much it costs to ship magazines across the Atlantic) so it's worth digging them out anyway.

I can't get that Phil Hartman clip to work here, which is a shame as I've just started watching NewsRadio ('An episode in Space? Why not?')
posted by mippy at 4:09 PM on February 26, 2012


How did I not see this thread earlier?

I discovered Sassy when I was 13, and I don't think it's too much of an exaggeration to say that it helped make me into the person I am today.

The early teenage years can be a profoundly isolating time. You're constantly surrounded by your peers, but it can be so easy to feel like no one understands you. We adults tend to either roll our eyes or smile condescendingly at teen angst, but it's real, as is the sense of isolation.

The truly great thing about Sassy was that they *got* this. They didn't think teenage girls were dumb or silly or superficial. They understood what was horrible and wretched about 13, and also what was fun and awesome. Yes, they gave me lots of great ideas for bands to listen to, movies to rent and zines to find. They warned me against skater boys but also admitted that they could be pretty hot. But mostly, they served as a beacon for what life could be like once I got past that wretched age.

Sassy was the best. I truly don't know what nerdy 13-year-old girls do without it.
posted by lunasol at 8:29 PM on February 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


The truly great thing about Sassy was that they *got* this. They didn't think teenage girls were dumb or silly or superficial. They understood what was horrible and wretched about 13, and also what was fun and awesome. Yes, they gave me lots of great ideas for bands to listen to, movies to rent and zines to find. They warned me against skater boys but also admitted that they could be pretty hot. But mostly, they served as a beacon for what life could be like once I got past that wretched age.

Sassy was the best. I truly don't know what nerdy 13-year-old girls do without it.


I am so bummed that Sassy was before my time and I wouldn't have been allowed to read it anyway, but this is totally making me want to start a magazine. There's a MeFi Mag, isn't there? There needs to be a MeFi Sassy. Ah, dreams...
posted by cairdeas at 8:32 PM on February 26, 2012


For some reason one of my older cousins gave me a stack of her old Young Miss magazines from the 70's. They had fiction, make up tips, and how-to's that were really useful. They dealt with pretty serious stuff too - racisim, sexism, finding a way to be yourself.

I was excited enough to get my own subscription to it in the '80's, and then it turned into 'YM' - a fashion thing all about the clothes and makeup. It just wasn't the same.

Sassy reminded me of the older Young Miss. I never got into it myself, but my sister loved it.
posted by lysdexic at 7:55 AM on February 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


The lost issue is online, too.
posted by sugarbomb at 12:05 PM on February 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I remember going to the US in '99 and thinking the Cosmo there seemed much more...fluffy...compared to the British version. Admittedly dating culture is apparently different in the US (people don't generally date multiple people at once and then 'go steady', and I get the impression it's more of a norm not to have sex early on - we just go to the pub, get drunk and wake up together) but it all seemed to be about how to please a man, how to lock down a second date, what would happen if you swapped diets with another woman, or lost that 'extra' 15lb (that's a whole stone! You'd change dress size!). It was around the time of Men Are From MArs and all that asstwattery, I suppose. Not long later the UK versions started to read the same, with the articles seemingly poorly imported from the States with Lisa, 30, Mass. becoming Emma, 30, Croydon. Maybe the British version was always cruddy, but it seemed at some point that women's mags got lighter and fluffier. There's been a couple of attempts here to launch a mainstream women's mag with a more intellectual or radical bent, but Nova, Minx etc. folded after a couple of issues. I wonder if it's the same thing that changed YM, Sassy etc.
posted by mippy at 7:51 AM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


mippy, I've noticed the same thing here in the US, actually. Cosmo has indeed always been vacuous, but the other magazines, especially Glamour, used to have at least a few interesting things to read per issue. Nothing earth-shattering, for sure, but at least entertaining. Now, when I buy one once or twice a year to read on the plane, i'm done in about a half hour and wondering why I wasted my money.

My suspicion is that the internet is to "blame." I would guess that a large portion of the women who weren't really into women's magazines but bought them occasionally for light entertainment (like myself) now find their light entertainment online, leaving only the hardcore women's magazine lovers to cater to.
posted by lunasol at 2:28 PM on February 28, 2012


Another Sassy fan here, though I had already aged out of the demographic by the time it came along, I still read it and thought it was very good. It was a few years later that BUST arrived, and I remember thinking "Yay! Sassy for twentysomethings!"

Even though I loved Phil Hartman and I loved Sassy, it was clear from the way that sketch was developed that they really didn't get what Sassy was. We had to wait another years for SNL writers and comedians who did.
posted by Miko at 7:00 PM on March 2, 2012


I asked my mother if she knew where they were and her response was ”I don't know. Perhaps this is a good opportunity for you to go through some of those boxes that have been sitting there for the last 15 years.”

Gulp.

If you don't hear from me again, it'll be because I've overdosed on nostalgia or am trapped under something heavy.
posted by ApathyGirl at 10:06 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


DUDE, I'd forgotten about Blair! Speaking of cultural artifacts.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:49 PM on March 3, 2012


WOW, how am I so late to this thread? I love Sassy! I was a subscriber from the beginning, passing the subscription over to my sister's name sometime in my college years. (Still read every issue though!) We kept the subscription until Petersen bought Sassy, and kept every issue published in a big bag in my sister's closet. My mom or sister tossed that bag several years ago - oh, what I wouldn't give to still have that.

I still find some issues that weren't in the bag at my parents' house from time to time, and I bought a bunch of issues on Ebay.

Sassy had some amazing feature articles. They wrote about things like puppy mills, teenage girl gangs, polygamy, child geniuses, child preachers, homeless teens, Hasidic Jewish girls...all sorts of subjects not usually found in teen magazines.
posted by SisterHavana at 12:48 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


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