Editor Jane Pratt may not want to do anything for the big 5-0, but we can't let her slip by without wishing her a happy birthday today!
Over the last 25 years, Pratt has served as a devoted chronicler of the last three defining eras for woman, starting with her role as founding editor of Sassy magazine straight out of college in 1987. Sassy was the Holden Caulfield of teen magazines in the 80s and 90s, decrying phonies and anything mainstream: "To this day, many women between the ages of 30 and 50 (and a lot of gay men, too) will tell you that Sassy was the first magazine that ever felt like it was actually telling the truth," New York Magazine writes.
Pratt and her staff took pride in presenting an original voice -- no issue was taboo in Sassy. The magazine achieved cult status and is still remembered fondly by fans who poured over its pages when grunge was king, and those who wished they'd been around then.
Three years after Sassy shuttered, Pratt brought that same ethos to her eponymous magazine, Jane, in 1997. Her presence -- as well as the larger-than-life personas of her hand-picked writers and editors -- was felt on every page until 2005, when Pratt stepped down as the magazine's editor-in-chief. Jane folded in 2007.
“When I left Jane I wanted to do something in the Internet arena,” Pratt told the New York Times. “I felt like: ‘Where are my readers now? Where are those people I want to reach?’"
Following her readers online, Pratt launched xoJane.com in 2011 and continued the same mission seen in Sassy and Jane before it:
"xoJane.com is where women go when they are being selfish, and where their selfishness is applauded. This is not the place to find out how to please your husband, mom, kids or boss. This is the place to indulge in what makes you feel good."
Though the site wasn't initially met with rave reviews, xoJane has become an online safe space for women to share raw, confessionals around identity, body image and sex to far more mundane topics, like burritos and Taylor Swift. Most recently Pratt and xoJane have gained attention because of troubled former beauty editor, Cat Marnell, and her well-documented drug addictions. XoJane's publishers sent Marnell to rehab, but to no avail; Pratt has said she was "heartbroken" over the editor's descent and departure from the site.
Drama aside, Pratt continues to prove she always has her finger on the pulse of what women of all ages want to read. Though the editor has clocked her "emotional age" at 15 ("the time in our past that we can’t entirely let go," she explained to New York Magazine), she's not shying away from her true age. " is a pretty cool age," Pratt wrote in a recent newsletter. "So round, even and milestone-ish."
We definitely agree. Happy birthday, Jane!