Today the world lost not only a talented writer and editor, but also a one-of-a-kind spirit and visionary who changed the lives of women everywhere. I could go on at length about Helen Gurley Brown's achievements and contributions towards women's rights and liberation, but I think this article does a great job of explaining that already.
I wanted to instead share some quotes from Helen that reflect the unique disposition that made her so charming and compelling. Above is one of my favorites—a tear out from a 1970 interview she did with Esquire that's been pinned on my bulletin board ever since my office manager handed me a copy after my first meeting with her. I loved how she defied the notion of being defined and championed the idea that you could be more than one type of woman at once.
I've had the incredible honor and privilege of sharing an office with Helen for the past six years; an experience which has given me a small, albeit impactful glimpse into her life and has provided me with memories that I will always cherish. From her inspiring stories, to her cheeky remarks, to her generally magical presence, Helen was someone you just couldn't help but smile at.
Hopefully these quotes will make you smile as well... Go on "pussycat"...It's what Helen would have wanted.
"Don't use men to get what you want in life—get it for yourself."
"Beauty can't amuse you, but brainwork—reading, writing, thinking—can."
"Feeling insecure is good for you. It forces you to do something better, it drives
you to use all your talents."
"The only thing that separates successful people from the ones who aren't is the
willingness to work very, very hard."
"Nearly every glamorous, wealthy, successful career woman you might envy
now started out as some kind of schlepp."
"Cosmo is feminist in that we believe women are just as smart and capable as
men and can achieve anything they want. But it also acknowledges that while
work is important, men are, too. The Cosmo girl absolutely loves men!"
"Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere..."
Helen Gurley Brown
February 18, 1922 – August 13, 2012