March 1988 Teen Life: Sex, Flirts & Tiaras

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We’re delving into the features and ephemera regarding TEEN LIFE in the March 1988 issue! Karen Catchpole dares to be frank on the matter of “Losing Your Virginity” (and parents/right-wing wackos were PISSED). Catherine Gysin goes undercover at the Miss South Carolina USA pageant and learns secret uses for Vaseline. The whole staff collaborates on a “How To Flirt” guide…of sorts. In the spec piece that got her the job at Sassy, Christina Kelly addresses how to handle “Talk Behind Your Back.” Catherine speaks to the survivors of three young people who died by suicide. Christopher Newbound kicks off the fiction section with “My Name Is Daniel.” Then it’s on to the departments: On The Road to Miami; What He Said about why guys dumped their girlfriends; and a real mixed bag of Help. (What to do when Mom kisses Boyfriend is just one of many questions WE have for that possibly fake letter writer.) Stretch out on the shag rug and turn down George Michael on the radio: it’s time to Listen To Sassy!

Episode Rundown

Hello, It's March 1988

Spine Line & Distrupting Seventeen

Feature: Losing Your Virginity

Feature: Backstage At Miss USA

Feature: How To Flirt

Feature: Talk Behind Your Back

Feature: Life After Suicide

Meanwhile At Seventeen...

Fiction: My Name Is Daniel

On The Road

What He Said


Goodbye For Now

Episode Notes

β€œLosing Your Virginity: Real Talk About What Happens The First Time You Have Sex” in Teen Vogue
How Sassy Changed My Life by Marisa Meltzer and Kara Jesella
Aglow International, as Women Aglow is now known
Obituary for Jan Dawes
Focus On The Family
The Family Research Council
James Dobson on Twitter
April Abel in the Miss South Carolina USA Hall Of Fame
April Abel's interview in the Miss USA pageant (starts 3:50)
Teen Vogue's advice on how to start dating
Boochi Tag
Lauren Rutten, who shot the lead image for "Talk Behind Your Back"
Christina Kelly on Twitter
Christina's blog
Grok Nation, which she helped launch with Mayim Bialik
A piece Christina wrote about cleaning up her mother's home after her death
Christopher Newbound's blog
Miami's Bayside Marketplace
Tara's essay on collecting Sassy at The New York Times Magazine
Notes To Boys, by Pamela Ribon