Frisky Q & A: Sassy Editor Christina Kelly Weighs In On Life, Today’s Teen Media, And Cute Bands
To us Gen X ladies, Sassy was the ultimate teen magazine. Each issue left us feeling a little cooler, because we weren’t just in the know—we were in the know. And no one was more responsible for that feeling than editor Christina Kelly. Her columns “What Now” and “Cute Band Alert” were everything a 16-year-old, flannel-wearing girl wanted or needed. Plus, she wrote the mag’s infamous Kurt and Courtney cover story. The woman was idol-worthy.
It’s been four years since her last job as Editor-in-Chief at ELLEgirl magazine. Since then, her name has been missing from mastheads. But now she has joined the blogosphere—cheers!—with Fallen Princess, a site where she discusses everything from her love of “Glee” to her thoughts on being a mom. After the jump, The Frisky sits down and asks Christina a few questions. Since your last job at ELLEgirl, what have you been up to?
I spent three years as a stay-at-home mom, class mom, Sunday school teacher, community and school volunteer. I did yoga, got a driver’s license and learned how to play tennis. I didn’t write my novel. I spent another year still not writing my novel. I tried to get back into magazine writing, and had three awesome pieces published in Vice. Boy, are they well written! Then I got three cats and started my blog.
Did you feel apprehensive about starting a blog?
I never wanted to start a blog because I felt like everyone has a blog. It seemed unoriginal. Also, I wouldn’t be getting paid for my writing. And actually for the first three years after ELLEgirl, I didn’t want to put myself out there at all.
In a way, I can’t believe you started one. What finally pushed you over the edge?
I was just frustrated and bored and wanted an outlet other than Facebook status updates.
What other blogs do you read?
I read Feminista and Fitted Sweats. Also, Melissa Walker’s blog. Do you have a blog? I’d read that too. I better say I read The Frisky, right? I should also say I read TheGloss and Coilhouse, because they asked me to write for them. If anyone writes nice things about Fallen Princess, then I read those blogs.
Were you surprised that so many people started following you and started to comment on your posts?
I’m actually wondering why no one is commenting. How do you get people to comment? I put the stuff up and wait for feedback that never comes. And I want more followers. Are you a follower? No? Then, I’m not doing this interview.
Why is it called Fallen Princess?
Fallen Princess was the name of a website I had back in ’94, before they were called blogs. Sassy had folded and I was trying to make a living as a freelance writer. I started it solely to bitch about various freelance indignities. I chose Fallen Princess because my friend called me that when I would call him to vent about revisions and stories being killed. I explain all of this on my blog, in the post titled, “For the Freelance Community.” Please go to the blog, read it, and leave a comment.
So many women still regard Sassy as a huge influence — and young girls today are still discovering it — how does that make you feel? You’re kind of famous!
I think it’s very flattering. I’m happy it resonated for so many people. I love that girl Tavi and her posts on The Style Rookie about Sassy. She is so talented, and I am not saying that just because she loves Sassy.
Favorite memories of Sassy?
Laughing my ass off at hilarious Andrea Linett, who’s now the Creative Director at Lucky.
Will you give your daughter the back issues of the magazines you worked for—Sassy, YM, ELLEgirl? Which do you think she’ll like most?
Maybe. It’s hard to say which way she is going to go. I am thinking she will probably be a popular cheerleader, so it might be like a “Family Ties” situation.
It’s clear from your posts you are interested in body image and girls. What do you think of the state of teen media today and its influence on teens?
I haven’t been paying much attention to teen media. They finally stopped sending me Teen Vogue, which I got for free for years for some unknown reason. I don’t think girls read magazines as much as they used to. The teens I see are too busy texting each other right in front of you. I do seriously think you guys do a great job with I Heart Daily [Anne’s website/newsletter with Melissa Walker.], and it’s probably the best way to reach teens.
Do you have an opinion on Heidi Montag’s recent gajillion cosmetic surgeries?
It’s f**king disturbing, and I read that People cover story at the nail salon and it was appalling how they seemed to condone her pathology. I also would like to say, although you did not ask, that I hate reality TV.
If you were still writing “Cute Band Alert,” who would you pick out of today’s lineup?
My Chemical Romance. I heart Gerard.