"I'm having trouble holding the camera straight because I had a little too much Ritalin today," I apologized. "THAT'S SO MISSBEHAVE!!!" gushed a tidily attractive Asian girl named Mary in a black dress and almost spookily perfect eyeliner, as I shakily aimed my cameraphone at Samantha, a tan, girlish thirty-year-old in chunky hoop earrings and a New York Kings cap. The afternoon's torrential rains had subsided to accomodate the rooftop party commemorating the latest issue of Missbehave magazine, a colorful quarterly that aims to fill the more sneaker-obsessed reaches of the void left by Jane, and I and Intern Maria had braved the chance of a relapse to attend and speak to Mary and Samantha, two pillars of the team upon whose shoulders that dream rests. "We've got the illest troop of girls together," Samantha said, a gold "MISSBEHAVE" nameplate necklace hanging from her neck. "And we like, let it rip. We speak our fuckin' mind. But we are not fuckin' feminist by any means."
Indeed, Missbehave is fairly unabashed in both its hipsterdom and its seeming viewpoint that girls — its writers and its audience, presumably — are obsessed with getting boys to like them and don't really want to read anything else advising them otherwise. A story in the current issue analyzing male "types" uses the characters on Entourage to explain the pros and cons of dating a "Turtle" (he'll make pretty much any girl happy; "borderline monumental man mammaries") versus a Vincent ("a face you've got to sit on to believe").
Another story, "In Defense Of The Porno Blowjob" advises readers counteract the fact that promiscuous times have "robbed" the BJ of its value by incorporating props and heels. "When it's done, rejoice as if your face had previously been enduring an epic sperm drought. Like he just put the 'man' in 'manna'." LOL!
"I was actually going to post on what you did, how Nylon sucks," Mary went on. "It's just so wan. I mean, could it be more anemic? We're in the business of unbridled enthusiasm. We really want to capture the mind of the seventeen year old girl in podunk Texas." Mary, it turned out, had gone to high school in podunk Texas (specifically, in a suburb of San Antonio), after a childhood spent as a Korean expatriate in Hong Kong, reading issues of Sassy that came in a few months late. She had spent most of her adult career at hip-hop magazines when she met Samantha, an editor at her husband's graffiti magazine Mass Appeal. They hired a small group of Lower East Side hip-hop creative types and went to work.
In a week that has seen the death of Jane and a summer that has given us a book on the enduring mythology of Sassy, it was refreshing to know there was still room in New York for girls conspiring with one another to bring back something with a bit of both magazines' essence.
"I was like, you miss Sassy, I miss Sassy, ab-so-fucking-lutely I will edit this magazine," said Mary.
"There is so much email that we get from girls who are like "OMG my life is complete," added Samantha, who had found her way into the publishing world through the downtown graffiti scene and her husband, business partner and babydaddy, whom she met "in a stairwell" at a graffiti party.
Intern Maria, who is too young to miss Sassy but likes Missbehave repaired downstairs with me for hot dogs and dancing, though we were both feeling a little too sober and, well, white to partake. As we exited, a group of colorfully clad teenagers in limited-edition sneakers lurked outside. They too, Maria pointed out, looked pretty white. She grumbled something dismissively. Hipsters. We were all too old to be hanging out with them, but that didn't mean we couldn't enjoy the mindless fruits of their ubridled enthusiasm alone on the couch. "It's a really good magazine." We went home and read it.