What A New 'Sassy' Means To Today's Teen Readers
- November 15th, 2010
- 1 Comments
Sassy magazine founder Jane Pratt has answered the call for an alterna-equivalent for this generation in a most appropriate DIY fashion—by recruiting Tavi Gevinson (yes, that Tavi) the blogger behind the rallying cry to help make it happen. As the Style Rookie announced on her blog last Friday, she and Pratt are officially joining forces for an as-of-yet untitled teen-targeted project that will comprise a website and three print issues a year.
Details are still vague with the site to launch next spring and the first issue set for fall 2011, but according to Tavi, the new effort won’t try to re-create Sassy so much as “use [it] as a point of reference for the whole teen-magazine-that-doesn’t-suck thing.” To that end, they’re currently looking for submissions (see below) from contributors across a “wide range of ages, styles, etc” to meet the needs of today’s would-be Sassy readers.
And what are those needs exactly? The original Sassy prided itself on connecting with readers through incisive pop culture commentary, lipstick feminism, accessible politics, offbeat fashion spreads and non-sugarcoated advice columns. No doubt, worthy, relevant offerings for modern teens that could use another authentic forum, especially one overseen by the capable, trustworthy Pratt. At the same time, even without a consistent presence on newsstands, this territory hasn’t exactly gone untended over this past decade. In the fragmented media landscape that has come to overtake mainstream models like MTV and teen magazines as we knew them, a number of teen bloggers and vloggers (like Tavi and teen feminist fbomb blogger Julie Zeilinger) have taken it upon themselves to raise the profile of unconventional views, voices and styles. Not to mention inclusive communities like Jezebel and the countless fan and social platforms that lend themselves to bringing together niche communities. In other words, in the wake of Sassy and the rise of “that Internet thing” Tavi mentions in her post, teens have found plenty of ways to discover if not build the proper spaces to meet those needs.
Again, this isn’t to say what Pratt and Tavi bring to the table won’t still be valuable for the teen readers and writers out there hoping to challenge and change the standards of teen media (though I hope the rhetoric would lean away from"them vs. us”). I’m a little skeptical of the three-a-year print model (very interested to see those sub numbers), but supercurious and excited to see who and what pops up on the site given Jane’s contacts, fervent disciples, etc. Personally, I’d love to see them invite an intergenerational dialogue (since I’m betting we’ll see a fair amount of Gen X’ers on there anyway) around different topics, along with working in some type of aggregate of cool teen blogs from the likes of Tavi, aforementioned fbomb founder Julie Zeilinger and Jamie Keiles, the 18 year-old who chronicled herself following all the advice in Seventeen magazine for a year. Readers? What would you like to see in a Sassy of today?
Ed. Note: For more details see Tavi’s original post, but interested contributors are invited to submit writing samples to MagazineSubmissionsAreFun@gmail.com by next Friday, November 19th.