Do We Really Need a New Sassy?

And can it survive in 2011?
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2011 1:26 PM CDT
An old 'Sassy' spread.   (©iluvrhinestones)

(Newser) Sassy is back. That sentence probably only means something if you're a member of "the My So-Called Life generation" who used to read Jane Pratt's iconic magazine while "wearing ringer tees and listening to Sonic Youth." But those women—and their daughters—are squarely in the crosshairs of the venture Pratt launched today: xoJane. But can Pratt's "intimate, conversational" style—which "was groundbreaking two decades ago"—"survive in a world where intimate chatter is as ubiquitous as a status update?" wonders Mary Elizabeth Williams on Salon.

Sassy was unique because, unlike other teen magazines of the day, it "didn't dole out authorative tips on how to make a guy like you or why that skirt makes you look fat." Instead, it spoke to readers like a friend, with an "infectiously enthusiastic and unabashedly snarky" tone that was "goddamn revolutionary," Williams writes. But nowadays, Pratt's "influence is everywhere, in the lively, unapologetically feminism-powered prose of Jezebel and a slew of imitators." And with her new project, she must appeal not just to onetime Sassy readers, but to their daughters as well; as Pratt says, "Everyone from (16-year-old fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson) to Patti Smith." "It's an ambitious dream," Williams concludes. "But it offers the hope that you're never too old—or too young—to be sassy." Click for her full column.

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