Studying Sassy: Dec 91


Sassy Dec. 91 Listen Up, Sistas No. 45

Holy crap! This issue is produced by readers (who were selected from submissions made earlier in 1991) and it is some high quality magazine-making! Realistically, some of the writing lacks a little polish, but there are contributors as young as 15, so I'm pretty ok with it. As always, the content could not be more relevant (sadly) to the state of things in the US 25 years later. But I am, to say the least, inspired by these young (at the time) women.

For starters, this is actually a pretty easy issue to read from a visual standpoint. The art team chose to do a lot of white text on a black background (sort of like, oh I dunno..... THIS BLOG), which is both striking and was difficult for me to photograph in the low lighting of my living room. The children's blocks spelling out some of the features is cute, but the yellow is hard to see.

*Note Monica Seles advertising Sears from the back of a limo? Hahahaha.*

These folks actually seemed to have fun making the issue as well. (Ugh, this photo is a little soft focus, you'll probably notice that it's a theme this time [or possibly every time, I've only had my camera for 5 years and I'm still learning].)

I swear, I took about 6 photos and this was the best one.

See, I like the font typeface on this page a lot. Note also that my greasy childhood fingers left marks on the corners of these dark pages. I really read this stuff, and here's the proof!

I really like that they offer an inexpensive diy face product directly above a promo for an expensive name-brand product. Very sassy!

These ladies are so boss, talking about crappy school lunches in one breath, and pet cancer in another! And then some Chinese medicine to boot! Go Reader Produced Issue!

Hey, remember Cathy Dennis? I'm pretty sure she played at the Peach Pit After Dark. Or maybe it was West Beverly prom???

More fingerprints..... I like how honest these reviews are, aka not entirely positive. And the illustration is way cute.

Why are there so many men featured here? Boy crazy teenage girls, perhaps?

This one, I'm not even kind of going to try. This might be the beginning of the time when the diy fashions in Sassy supposed that the crafter was....... petite? I know there's an issue coming where I legit tried to make the thing and it didn't even sort of fit me. I've never been "teenage" sized, not even when I was a teenager.

These readers are so fucking sassy that they created two new columns, in order to represent activism and a broader world view instead of "What He Said." I wonder how the regular staffers felt about that burn????

(P.S. there was also an ad for Midol in between these two pages, so maybe that was a subtle retaliation burn?)

Thank the fucking LORD! Finally, my old ass eyes can read What Now. It only took a bunch of teens to make it so.

Snuck in with a featured model, and a contest to design shoes for John Fluevog, is MORE activism. These are my kind of ladies.

I became really curious about Refuse and Resist! after reading this. You'd think that they would be particularly vocal with what's happening now in this country. A google search resulted in a Wikipedia page all written in past tense, with the latest mention from several years ago. I started down a bit of an information wormhole, which lead to my bookmarking several pages, downloading a lot of PDFs to a folder on my desktop titled "The Resistance," and the purchase of a book called Beautiful Trouble about examples of artistic activism. So, thank you Sassy, for being the Teen Vogue of it's time, and for guiding me from the past.

Sigh..... I feel like this is a quiz not enough people have taken, or that things of this nature just preach to the choir, as they say. I particularly appreciate the resources offered to learn more about consent and statistics in the results of the quiz.

How's that for relevance?!?!? I have to say, this was not a topic I was familiar with, and I'm still left with some questions. Mainly, how do these groups (Nazis and SHARPS) tell one another apart? This seems to have a lot of "wolf in sheep's clothing' potential. I say this as someone who likes a Dr Martin boot, and would hate to be mistaken for a Nazi, particularly by actual Nazis. I guess it all comes down to actions, and proving where allegiances exist by standing up to racist behavior. (Also, I think this interview took place in my old neighborhood in Chicago, where we called the Dunkin Donuts the "Punkin Donuts" and you could shop around the corner at The Alley for all your counter-culture fashion needs.)

Oh gosh. Could this possibly be my first introduction to cutting hair on my own? Did I possibly layer a Barbie's hair after reading this article right here? The world may never know...... (but I think the answer is yes)

This fashion story is just ok, so I don't even care that the pictures are out of focus. It's meant to skim past.

And this is what immediately follows those party dresses: How to Fight Sexism. Ha.

This is one of those articles that is a good topic to cover, but the way it is written, the age of the writer becomes pretty obvious. As is, there isn't much here in the way of solid advice to fight sexism. Towards the end, she gains a little momentum, and as always, I like a good homework assignment (book recommendation). But overall, just meh.

Hey! Here's some Henry Rollins for ya!

And some Shannen Doherty!

And then, the fashion story of actual importance: The one about cardigans (AKA how I actually, currently, desire to dress).

In my dreams, I am this lady right here. One part Bea Arthur, another part Fairuza Balk in The Craft.

Oh my, in required reading lists for the parts of rural America that continue to vote against their own interests:

"No one asks to be born black or white or yellow or brown. Nor are people born racists. Racism is taught--by the government, by the school system, business, the media, families, friends."

Dang. This was written by a 19 year old woman.

Zits and Stuff and Elton John/Bernie Taupin and U2. Gotta love 1991.

So, these are the teens who wrote and designed this thing:

I want to look them all up and see what they're doing now.... I'm pretty sure Tali (below) and her sister are astrologers known as The Astro Twins. If I actually find anything interesting , I'll edit this post later.

January 1992 is one of the issues I'm missing, sadly. But i do have February, and will try to get that up here soon. In the meantime, I'm going to make like I'm a teenager in the early 90's and shake some shit up with my sassy, combat boot and cardigan wearing self!


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