Helen Gurley Brown, the driving force of the sexual revolution has passed after 90 years of living a fruitful life. As the world bids farewell to Ms. Brown, she is leaving her mark as a role model that has led today’s females into self reliant women who are comfortable with their sexual being.
After graduating from business college in 1941, Brown worked at several talent agencies including the William Morris Agency. Her writing skills were recognized while working as a secretary at Foote, Cone & Belding where she was given a position in copywriting. She soon bypassed many of her male counterparts to become a one of the most well known and highest paid ad copywriters of the early 1960’s proving that a woman can do just as much, or even more, than a man.
A powerful woman can be happily married too
Helen Gurley Brown was happily married for 50 years to producer David Brown from 1959 until his death in 2010. David Brown was perhaps her strongest supporter encouraging Ms. Brown to write her famous book, “Sex and the Single Girl” published in 1962.
The book was the beginning of what is now known as the sexual revolution. It served as a bible teaching women that they should feel comfortable with their sexuality without the benefit of marriage as well as working to be independent financially and without a man. It quickly became a best seller, selling two million copies in only three weeks proving that women where aching to be outed.
The chief editor publishing a path for the sexual revolution
Well known for her book, in 1965 Helen Gurley Brown became chief editor of a magazine originally started in 1886 as a family periodical called “The Cosmopolitan”. Ms. Brown resurrected the magazine into the “New Cosmopolitan” making it a magazine aimed for the sexually liberated woman. In 1967 she changed the name back to “Cosmopolitan” as it gained steam tutoring woman on how to feel comfortable with sex and relationships along with beauty, fashion, and health advice.
Brown took a big leap when she countered men’s Playboy magazine’s photos of nude women by placing an almost naked photo of Burt Reynolds in the centerfold of Cosmopolitan’s April 1972 issue. The much spoken about photo brought major recognition to the magazine.
The first sex in the city girl
The TV show “Sex in the City” has Helen Gurley Brown to thank for paving the way to its popularity. Ms. Brown was a self reliant woman in a time when most girls merely worked or went to college until they could land a husband.
Helen Gurley Brown will be remembered as a trailblazer and a woman to emulate for the female gender. Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York City said it all perfectly in his statement “Today New York City lost a pioneer who reshaped not only the entire media industry, but the nation’s culture. She was a role model for the millions of women whose private thoughts, wonders and dreams she addressed so brilliantly in print.”
Handing over her title as Editor in Chief in 1997, Ms. Brown continued as editor up until her death. Helen Gurley Brown’s favorite line was “Good girls go to heaven. Bad girls go everywhere.” Ms. Brown went everywhere, and beyond, in words and actions to pave the way for the women of today to be in control of their own bodies and lives and to not be afraid to break through the glass ceiling.
Learn a lesson from Helen Gurley Brown; never be afraid to dance!
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