Have you noticed there’s been a big resurgence of Sassy Magazine lately? If you know me in real life, you know how much I love and will always have a soft spot in my heart for Sassy. If you didn’t read it back in the day, it was like the alt-Seventeen. The fashion spreads were so cool- prom dresses paired with Docs or Birkenstocks, themes were things like Willa Cather (hello cottagecore, 90’s style) and Twin Peaks, and they had lots of love for clogs and overalls. They were proudly feminist and unapologetically liberal. Articles were always going deeper than what kind of makeup to use (they did have those too, it’s just that it wasn’t ONLY about that), such as abusive parents or coping with STDs. Bands they featured were more Bikini Kill and Digable Planets, and less Paula Abdul. Chloe Sevigny was their effortlessly cool intern before she was famous.
Show us some Sassy pages
Behold, some of my favorite things. Look how current a lot of these things are again!
Juliana Hatfield’s cover will always be my favorite – everything about this image is so perfect. The color, her outfit, the pose. Everything.
This review for Singles (one of my most beloved 90’s movies) cracks me up (“Campbell Scott as a younger, non-dancing Patrick Swayze”), and I just want to ask Mary Ann: Matt Dillon? Really? I mean, Eddie Vedder is in this movie too. And Campbell Scott was definitely hot in all his earnestness.
Zines! I wish I’d ordered some of these back in the day, since they featured so many interesting sounding ones. I also wish I ‘d had the foresight to know zines would be replaced by blogs in the not too distant future, and made one of my own.
This fashion spread dedicated to the color brown. I used a filter on all of these photos to brighten them up a little because the lighting in my house is creating a lot of shadows, so I’m not doing this page any justice. The shade of brown here is so gorgeous:
Evan Dando – this guy was everywhere!
These random recipes always intrigued me. Not enough to make one, although now that I think about it, I think there may have been some kind of Elvis-banana-peanut butter thing I whipped up once. I also clearly remember wondering out loud “what is watercress?” the first time I read this (hey, I was like 14).
Fairly certain Sassy introduced me to Douglas Coupland, though I think they gave Generation X a not so great review. I read it anyway, and probably a dozen of his books after that.
Back to the fashion spreads – how perfect is this outfit? Floral mini, baby tee, and docs. Timeless.
From the same issue – this smocked dream, which I absolutely wish I could wear right now.
A DIY! I never made this, but I still think it’s pretty ingenious.
Pretty accurate list of Stuff We Love / Hate, except for Shannen Doherty who turned out to be cool, and my favorite VJ Duff, who everyone hated except for me.
I can’t find the original Chloe Sevigny issue, but I did find this. Of course she looks perfect with this haircut.
The caption on this picture still cracks me up a million years later – “tasty buttie Patrick Stewart…”
Did I have the Sassy student planner? You bet I did.
This was my favorite outfit ever featured in the magazine. I loved everything about this look, the boots, her curly hair, the jewelry, everything.
If the last photo was my favorite everyday outfit, this was my favorite fancy schmancy outfit:
I always appreciated the stance the writers took in articles like this:
I think I’ll have to make another post as a sequel to this one, just so I can share more photos. There are a ton more. A bunch of pages are missing where I cut them out and taped them to my teenage bedroom wall, but for the most part they’re complete. Although I still have all of my old issues, I don’t have all the issues ever published. I probably never will considering they’re now a fortune whenever they come up on eBay.
Even though I knew a lot of women my age remembered Sassy fondly, I had no idea until maybe two years ago how many loved it to the same degree as me or even more. As it turns out, TONS of people still LOVE it and lately there is a big resurgence online of scanned pages, IG fan accounts, and even a podcast! Listen to Sassy ‘s podcast is literally a couple people going through every issue page by page and discussing it. They’re only three episodes in, but so far so good. You can even take a couple of the quizzes! Are you dying to know: How Competitive Are You? Now you can find out.
But what’s the big deal about Sassy?
What is it about this magazine that keeps us coming back to it, despite now being in our 40’s? I think it’s because it was written in a way that felt like we knew all the staffers almost like big sisters. Especially for an only child like me, it was like having someone you looked up to show you all the good pop culture and style stuff, while also being really influential on how you viewed social issues. None of the other teen magazines at the time dared to talk about topics like abortion, racism, sexism, poverty, anything like that. They always kept it light. Sassy didn’t shy away from the tough stuff. They didn’t always get it right. I think Diane was their only black staffer, and she got stuck with the token black girl articles, and they could also be really negative about other women sometimes, but for the most part, they were pretty great.
Where are they now?
If you’re wondering what some of the staffers are up to, Kim France founded Lucky Magazine and now has a podcast I love called Everything is Fine, which is for women over 40, which “digs deep into the identity shift that comes with navigating this alternately weird and liberating stage of life.” Andrea Linett founded the shopping site I Want to be Her. Jane went on to start Jane Magazine, then the websites xo Jane and xo Vain, and now hosts Jane Radio on SiriusXM.
Were you a big Sassy reader back in the day? What was your favorite feature? Tell us in the comments!