Brown, the editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, taught us things we didn’t even know we needed to know, and it all started with “Sex and the Single Girl,” her homemade book of advice. It told women that being single didn’t mean celibacy and boredom.
Hearst hired Brown three years later, and she turned Cosmopolitan into a conversation piece. And many of us remember her early years.
In an interview on NPR, Brown told women to get a job and make money. It didn’t matter what we did — but doing something paved the way to better lives. A favorite quote of mine is from an NPR story is:
“A job is where the money, the success, and the clout come from. It doesn’t matter where you start, what matters is starting and hanging in.”
Read the entire story here.
And Brown was no rich kid or cover girl model. Her father died when she was young, and she grew up in Arkansas with a depressed mother and a sister who suffered from polio paralysis. Brown worked her way through secretarial jobs in Los Angeles to Cosmo.
She quickly created a mindset for women — especially “Cosmo girls” to be sexy and smart. And it was all fun. I still remember the male centerfolds in the 1970s — actor Burt Reynolds was there. By 1983, the magazine had 3 million subscribers. Brown left in 1997 at age 75.
Read some of her most famous quotes here in Fashion Beast. Here are a few of my faves: “Good girls go to heaven; bad girls go everywhere.” “Money, if it does not bring you happiness, will at least help you be miserable in comfort.”
A great woman with a sense of humor. Rest in peace, Helen.