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…bad girls go every where.

That’s a quote from Helen Gurley Brown.


Ms. Brown, the Cosmo Queen died this week at the age of 90.   She was still working in her ‘retirement’ until just a few weeks before her death.

Think what you might about her, agree or disagree, Helen Gurley Brown was a force in American Culture, publishing, and the ‘rag trade’ of magazines.

She created the new Cosmo as a women’s magazine – it was first published in 1886 as a literary magazine.

She defined Cosmo.

She was Cosmo.

The tiny girl from Green Forest, Arkansas, changed the magazine world for women.  Her feminist views, open attitude about sex and sexuality were revolutionary, ground breaking, shocking, and liberating all at the same time.

People either loathed what she stood for or embraced it completely.

Making the cover of the magazine was making it for Hollywoodites, models, literary giants and wannabees, and even politicians.  No one ever looked bad on a Cosmo cover…Helen wouldn’t allow it.

The magazine talked about the taboos of the time. Sex, sex, sex, being sexy, feeling sexy, sex, how to get sex, why you aren’t getting sex, sex, and sex,

Did I mention sex.

Oh, and make-UP and fashion too.

Her book, Sex and the Single Girl, was equally shocking back in 1962.  She encouraged women to become financially independent, and experience sexual relationships out side the bonds of marriage.

Even the Pope was pissed.

1953 Cosmo

But, in reality, there is good advice in the book. Chapters such as The Apartment and The Shape You’re In, help young women to become independent. The Money, Money, Money chapter tells them to watch their money, grow their money, save their money, because later in life, they’ll need their money!

She also tells you how to pick UP guys.  Like anyone really needs advice!  Guys are easy to pick UP.  Show UP naked, bring beer.  Works every time.

Hey, he may not be the guy you really want, but success is success, now isn’t it.

Ok, so Helen might not agree with that one.  But either way, America has lost an icon.  A brilliant woman, and a real journalist.

Her are some HGB quotes –

Beauty can’t amuse you, but brain work – reading, writing, thinking – can.

Never fail to know that if you’re doing all the talking, you’re boring someone.

What you have to do is work with the raw materials you have, namely you, and never give UP.

Money, if it does not bring you happiness, will at least help you be miserable in comfort.

If you’re not a sex object, you’re in trouble.

Although not all of those sound like feminist views, they really are.  She may not have been the first feminist, but she had the bully pulpit of Cosmo for decades, and she taught all of us, men and women, a great deal.

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