I heard the news on Twitter that Helen Gurley Brown, 90, passed away yesterday – and I thought, ‘Wow now that was a woman who made a statement! She knew what she wanted and how to get it, and didn’t care what others thought in the process.’ She was not only an extraordinary magazine editor who held the long-standing editor-in-chief position at Cosmopolitan (over three decades!) but she showed women they could have it all by bringing sexiness and real-life relationship issues to her pages – changing the way women’s magazines would be forever more. She brought 'real' women's stories to life revealing that they actually had lives, fashion sense, careers, and sexual needs and desires – and female journalists everywhere wanted to be her (well at least I did).
In other words, before there was Carrie Bradshaw on HBO's Sex and the City, there was Helen Gurley Brown who published the book Sex and the Single Girl in 1962. Brown was a successful journalist and all-around fashion trend-setter and style icon who brought new meaning to the words confident, independent and woman. She led a generation of females and taught women they could have it all – a career, a man, and a hot sex life. Ms. Brown was and still is a legend in the woman’s magazine business and a social icon representing women’s desires everywhere. I tip my hat to you Ms. Brown for inspiring so many women to go after their dreams and for literally creating the modern woman. New York’s mayor Michael Bloomberg described her best… “[She was] a pioneer that not only reshaped the entire media industry, but the nation’s culture.”
I only hope I can achieve a quarter of what she did in my lifetime.
Kerrie Lee Brown is a sought-after health and lifestyle expert. She writes books, blogs and articles and is published all over the world. Kerrie Lee is also a heart-health survivor and has appeared on numerous radio and television shows sharing life-saving tips for women on how to listen to their bodies and slow down. Kerrie Lee is a mom and proud Canadian living in Denver, Colorado.