A Woman to Know: Helen Gurley Brown
|Julia Carpenter||Dec 16, 2015|
The only thing that separates successful people from the ones who aren't is the willingness to work very, very hard. — Helen
(Image by Getty)
This newsletter was very hard to write because Helen Gurley Brown is endless quotable. You could even call her The Most Quotable — "You can't hope yourself to a better life"; "Beauty can't amuse you, but brainwork can"; and, of course, "Good girls go to heaven, but bad girls go everywhere." She's kind of the ultimate you-go-girl precursor, right? Precursor to so many things: from to Jezebel's snark to Lena Dunham's everything.
Helen is best known for her 32-year run as Cosmo's executive editor (the anecdotes surrounding her time there are numerous, legendary, and all-too-hilarious — delve deeper into Jennifer Scanlon's Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley Brown for more). Despite her focus on gender politics, sexual liberation and more within the magazine's pages, Helen got a bad rap later in life for her simultaneous obsession with diet plans, daily weigh-ins and "how to please your man." But as Judith Thurman wrote of her years later, "Feminist come in every bra size."
But even before all that, Helen (in 1962! 1962! **1962!**) had written Sex and the Single Girl, her seminal tome for baby feminists everywhere. A quick flip-through ("Chapter 1: Woman Alone? Oh, Come Now!") endears Helen to all budding Carrie Bradshaws forever. How can you resist her wit? Even decades later, it hasn't lost its bite.
Add to your reading list:
Sex and the Single Girl (Helen Gurley Brown)
Having It All (Helen Gurley Brown)
I'm Wild Again (Helen Gurley Brown)
Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley Brown (Jennifer Scanlon)
Helen Gurley Brown Only Wants to Help (Nora Ephron)
Helenism: The Birth of the Cosmo Girl (The New Yorker)
10 Essential Quotes from Helen Gurley Brown (Cosmopolitan, duh)
Helen Gurley Brown, Who Gave 'Single Girl' a Life in Full (The New York Times)
Who Owns Helen Gurley Brown's Legacy? (The New York Times)
Helen Gurley Brown: That Cosmo Girl (CBS News)
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