My First Time Reading Sassy Magazine

My first time reading Sassy magazine

Sassy magazine is the badass older sister to today’s honest, insightful publications aimed at teens and young adults. Running from 1988 to 1996, Sassy spoke on topics like virginity to alcoholism to body image. Other publications deemed these subjects too mature and taboo for teens. Sassy served as the feminist counterpart to superficial teen mags that preferred to focus on cuticle maintenance and the right man to marry. However, This was not without controversy and backlash, leading to its untimely demise in 1996.

Want to find Sassy magazine online? Check out this post!

Crowned the Liz Phair of magazine publishing, Editor Jane Pratt started the magazine at just 24-years-old with a band of young women writers. Controversy and pissing off the establishment was present at the conception of this now cult class mag.

I feel like if you’re going to say Sassy is overly provocative, you’re saying that teenagers are overly provocative . . . Because I think Sassy is a real honest reflection of what teenagers today are like.

Jane Pratt in The Morning Call

Sassy magazine’s cultural impact may be hard to understand in the context of our current culture, which not only values but demands vulnerability and honesty. It should be no surprise that like all good things in the 90s, the magazine faced a conservative Christian-led boycott. This resulted in loss of not only major advertisers but also its original publisher in 1988.

The New York Times reported the following:

The religious group Moral Majority, through its newspaper, Liberty Report, organized a letter-writing campaign to several of Sassy’s major advertisers. Since the campaign began in July, the Noxell Corporation and the Maybelline Company have dropped out of Sassy.

“The Media Business: Advertising; Resignation And Boycott At Sassy”, New York Times

Pratt would later report that the late, great Kevyn Aucoin even went to bat for the magazine, telling Maybelline that he wouldn’t work with the brand until they reinstate their advertising with Sassy. Consequently, Maybelline revised its decision on pulling the ads.

The long, complicated, and controversial history of Sassy cannot be covered in one blog post. There’s also a lot to relay so we hope to return to telling this tale in future posts.

My Sassy magazine obsession

My Sassy Magazine Obsession

Sassy was known and loved for the asides and personal thoughts the writers interjected and wove into their stories, so I’ll take a moment to share why I’m obsessed with the magazine.

I’ve considered that, perhaps, I’ve become a bit obsessed with Sassy magazine. Ever the magazine addict, seeing scans online wasn’t enough. I wanted to know what it was like to actually read the magazine.

So, I set out to hunt down issues of Sassy. Tons of bids on eBay and messages on Depop later, procured 7 issues from 1990 to 1996.

At the time of writing, I’ve read about half of one issue as I’m trying to take it slow. With seven issues in hand, and I am a bit sad that once I’m done reading them, there probably won’t be more issues for awhile. Because RIP my budget.

Unboxing & reacting to Sassy magazine for the first time (Video)

Before I started reading my first issue, I sat down to film opening up my two packages.

Sassy lives

Purchasing copies of Sassy online can get expensive, with most copies going for anywhere between $12-$80 depending on the cover and rarity. Fear not! Sassy continues to live online and in books for those wanting to read (or read about) the mag again or for the first time.

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