Remember Sassy magazine? The little inside notes, the sardonic voice, the amazing pulse of an under-appreciated cultural uprising, it was all there in the glossy pages of Sassy. It’s almost like Karen Catchpole, Christina Kelly, Catherine Gysin and Mike Flaherty were bloggers a decade early. I don’t think the staff understood it at the time, but when the evil overlords churned 90% of the cool hip staff and started popping out a fluffy lame Seventeen-wannabe, it was the subcultural equivalent to the 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
I’m guessing that a lot of us had Sassy moments that impacted your impressionable years. For me, when I read something that Mike Flaherty said about Roseann Barr being a “fat ugly cow”, something broke inside my brain. I wrote a seething letter to the editor, taking him and the magazine to task for preaching acceptance and then spewing that level of body hate. It was the first time I had ever dared to defend my body–my fatness–and it felt like the most dangerous thing in the world. Mike called me personally to apologize and then they published a version of the letter (although with a softened comment about still trying to lose weight) in their March 1990 issue. I used the payment to fly to NYC and hang out in the Sassy offices with Christina, Mike and then spanking-new writer Kim France (now EIC of Lucky), pretty much making me the luckiest teenager in America for a short few hours.
One of the things I remember most about those two afternoons was how Christina told me to keep writing and keep questioning shit. Christina took her own advice. Check it out:
In Jane Brody’s column about BMI on Tuesday, she, or some hack doctor she quotes, says that it’s thoroughly possible for a 125 pound, 5 foot 5 inch woman to be fat. Shut the front door. Jane, this is frigging impossible. I am resisting the impulse to say you are going senile.
An ad for a plastic surgeon in The Montclair Times today asks, “Do you suffer from cellulite?” Suffering? Really? I’m almost speechless. There is a lot of suffering in this world, to be sure, very little of it from cellulite.
Tabitha Soren (former MTV News correspondent back when MTV was still relevant) said “Sassy has changed my life by making me hopeful that society’s stereotypes of the ideal physical female are unrealistic and terribly outdated. Sassy celebrates women who are real people that exist in the real world, not plastic surgery victims.” It doesn’t happen often but it’s absolutely amazing when you see that your idols are still exactly who you thought they were, more than twenty years later.
Rock n roll, Christina Kelly. You’re still the coolest girl I’ve ever met.
Posted by Weetabix