When I walked into my first magazine internship at Cosmopolitan as a senior in college, I remember thinking two things: 1) Am I ever going to get “2 Piece (So Cosmo)” out of my head? and 2) Where do they stash all the vintage Cosmos from the 1960s and 1970s? Its editor then, Helen Gurley Brown, seemed like such a larger-than-life figure, and I was dying to read advice that the original “Cosmo Girl” had written to generations before me about careers, dates, and life.
I never got that song out of my head, but I finally got plenty of chances to dig through the treasure trove of back issues next to the supply closet. I probably spent a good three hours pouring over page after page of Brown’s brilliantly executed vision (photocopying could wait), absorbing her snappy, sassy prose.
Brown, who passed away yesterday at the age of 90, was not only Cosmo Editrix extraordinaire, but as you probably know, authored the feminist bestseller Sex and the Single Girl. This sparkling trailblazer doled out countless wisdom-infused quotes like, “How could any woman not be a feminist? The girl I’m editing for wants to be known for herself. If that’s not a feminist message, I don’t know what is.”
It’s definitely the loss of a luminary, but as I’m seeing on Twitter Brown’s legacy lives on: Here are a few of my favorite HGB quotes for your pocket.
“Don’t use men to get what you want in life. Get it for yourself.” – Helen Gurley Brown, we will never forget your fierceness!
— Tyra Banks (@tyrabanks) August 14, 2012
“Beauty can’t amuse you, but brainwork—reading, writing, thinking—can.” – Helen Gurley Brown,the pioneer for the modern, intelligent woman — Cosmopolitan UK (@CosmopolitanUK) August 14, 2012
“Nearly every glamorous, wealthy, successful career woman you might envy now started out as some kind of schlepp.”- Helen Gurley Brown
— perri o. (@66perristreet) August 13, 2012
“Feeling insecure is good for you. It forces you to do something better, drives you to use all your talents” – Helen Gurley Brown
— Sarah Halle (@sarahhalle) August 14, 2012
And if you’re looking for more great quotes from the pioneer who coined the notion that women too, could have it all, check out this great roundup from the Daily Beast:
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) August 13, 2012