Sassy

How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time is not just the biography of a late, great publication: It’s also a history of an era, the early ’90s. Through interviews with staff, subjects, and readers of the magazine that spoke to teenage girls in their own tongue, authors Kara Jesella and Marisa Meltzer re-create a time when third-wave feminists were rising against the neo-con backlash and rock stars were wearing dresses and kissing on TV. They show just how brave editor Jane Pratt and her staff were in taking on the established, patronizing tone of the genre, and the severe consequences Sassy staffers suffered for speaking frankly about topics like incest, homosexuality and abortion. Sassy was boycotted, sold, decapitated, and eventually snuffed. You just have to cruise MySpace to see how right on Sassy’s take on adolescent angst and guts was, and how out of it most teen mags are.

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