Yesterday, was unfortunately a sad day for glossy women’s magazine Cosmopolitan, as ex-editor Helen Gurley Brown passed away at age 90. This inspirational woman changed the face of reading material into today’s bible for women.
“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!”
Said by Ms Gurley Brown herself, she sums up in one sentence the road to girl power.
She may have been a lustrous woman but she did it with dignity, writing to ladies everywhere and letting them know, it’s okay to be single, and if you do want something, don’t depend on the man or use the man. Going to get things and achieving dreams yourselves was always her motto and empowering the female race was her winning goal.
Helen Gurley Brown started off her career as a author, publishing her advice filled book ‘Sex and the single girl’ in 1962. Noticing her potential at reaching out to women, by writing what are to be known as us girl’s most inner thoughts, Hearst publishers hired her to revamp Cosmopolitan. It has been written that her development of the magazine changed the target audience from housewives to career-driven and sexually liberating women. She achieved this by putting busty women on the cover, including male centrefolds and filling pages on how to improve ‘womanly needs’.
The main focus Helen wanted to achieve in her 32 years as editor, to one of the most fast-selling magazines, was to advise her readers ‘how to get everything possible out of life.’ And she was the living example of what she wanted to share with the world.
Although she gave up her position in 1997, the formality and style of her ideology never failed and still carries on today. This is what makes her a legend in female journalism. Some may not agree, but she brought the words and advice to women for so many years that they all wanted to hear and no-one dared to write first. She brought confidence to women. And independent thinking.
Rest in peace Helen Gurley Brown, you will always be an idol to so many.