In honor of the long-time-coming death of Jane
magazine, here's an old article from Bitch
about the many loathsome attributes of the Sassy
magazine has always made me sad. It made me sad from the very first issue, which I bought because Drew Barrymore was on the cover and I needed something to read on a plane. I had no idea it was affiliated with Sassy
, but I soon found that the chatty girlfriend tone that Jane had taken in her editorial column was immeasurably more irritating when aimed at grown women rather than impressionable adolescents. Teenagers needed cool big sisters like Jane and the gang. But once you were old enough to read Jane
(and have the disposable income to afford the ridiculously overpriced fashions in its pages), her not-terribly-convincing hipster-speak was cloying rather than empowering and inclusionary. The name-dropping that had filled my twelve-year-old self with squee was aggravating once it became clear that she just wanted to subtly allude to her dalliances with the sexually flexible likes of Michael Stipe and the aforementioned Drew. (Her confirmation a few months ago that she had, indeed, briefly taken up with Drew made my heart sink. I don't know why I keep expecting Drew to make reasonable romantic choices -- for every short-lived Jeremy Davies relationship, there's a corresponding Tom Green or random bartender to marry.)
So, Pratt now has two dead titles to her credit. That actually wouldn't be that bad a record if they weren't the ONLY two magazines she had ever worked for, and if they weren't both so inextricably bound to her own persona. The rejection of Jane
, however, feels like more of a personal rejection of Jane Pratt herself than the death of Sassy
. By the time Sassy
ended, Christina Kelly had pretty much taken over while Jane ran around town pursuing ill-fated talk show deals. There were upsides and downsides to the reign of Christina Kelly at Sassy
. Even though the musical coverage was bizarrely offbeat and awesome for a teen magazine, and the fashion spreads featured actual affordable clothes and non-intimidating models, the editorial tone became exponentially more bitchy. What had once been an overriding sentiment of "Be yourself-it's cool!" suddenly turned into "Be different from everyone else--now now NOW now now!" But hey, you can't really look a gift horse in the mouth, and Jane turning the reigns over to Christina led to a definite reduction in obsessive odes to the hotness of Michael Hutchence, for which I think we were all grateful.
I won't miss Jane
magazine -- in fact, I haven't much been missing Jane Pratt since she was actually removed from the magazine's editorship many months ago. And despite my occasional dislike of Bitch
(it's somewhat strident, and the constant desperate reach for significance in purely idiotic cultural phenomenon can make for a tiresome read), I think the above-linked article will be my lingering feeling for Pratt's overall oeuvre.