Guide Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley Brown, the Woman Behind Cosmopolitan Magazine

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In essence, she wanted a message that encouraged women to both be individuals and partners for men. This was not a simple message at a time of social change.

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Her use of revealingly clad women on the cover of her magazine cleavage was purposely featured every three issues , led to accusations of sexual objectification. He is your sex object. Some of these messages were questioned by feminists. The criticism was unwarranted, according to Gurley Brown. And much of what she had to say was about sex.

Helen Gurley Brown: The Original Carrie Bradshaw

Marriage was not a precursor to sex and, furthermore, sex should be enjoyed. The magazine editor did not shy away from the topic at a time when it was not just frowned upon, but not discussed at all. This also meant that she addressed the progressive issues of birth control, rape, and abortion in her writing. Unfortunately, her publisher removed sections on date rape--the term was unknown at the time--and the need for abortion access from one of her books. Gurley Brown also regularly attempted to include information about lesbians but was rebuffed each time.


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Ultimately, after establishing her magazine as a cultural landmark, she was ousted as Cosmo editor in Last year, Slate magazine named her one of the top people over age It would have been interesting to hear her views, but she declined to be interviewed by Scanlon. In the s and s, women were not on the mastheads of major newspapers nor did they head the bureaus of wire services.

It would take lawsuits for that enlightenment to occur. While research has been done on the "Seven Sisters" magazines, Cosmo is also worthy of scholarship. The stories of more women, including Gurley Brown, need to added to the scholarship on journalism history.

Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley Brown by Jennifer Scanlon

Citation: Kim Voss. Jhistory, H-Net Reviews.

It was a male-dominated approach where Brown pointed that using sex and money for feminine power was deemed highly successful. She argues that too many scholars assume Betty Friedan the leader of the second wave of feminism with her publication, The Feminine Mystique, but Scanlon believes otherwise with proof in the publication Sex and the Single Girl which appeared well before Friedan.

Following the stark contrasts and few comparisons between Brown and Friedan, Scanlon discusses the ways in which Brown promoted Sex and the Single Girl in the world market until in chapter seven. She wanted to celebrate single women in a situation comedy, but this appreciation would not happen until the s. The heart of the book for Scanlon would be life as editor of Cosmopolitan and feminist advocate in the second and third waves, promoting sexual rights with abortion and birth control in chapters nine through eleven.

Once a magazine looking at bankruptcy, Brown turned the entire publication around and instilled the strategies that continues to make Cosmopolitan one of the leading magazines for women to this day.

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After a great deal of time as editor, Brown believed it was appropriate to resign. Jump to: navigation , search. Navigation menu Personal tools Create account Log in. Namespaces Page Discussion. Views Read View source View history. The pair pitched plays, television shows, more books, and new magazines for single women. One, a magazine called Femme, attracted the interest of Hearst Magazines. But instead of a new title, they agreed to let her try to revive Cosmopolitan magazine.

Since then, its sales and advertising have risen spectacularly. She featured sexy cover models, provocative content, and a fresh point of view that appealed to young women. He is kind, compassionate and generous, not just to me, but to a lot of other people.

You need to marry a decent, caring person. Named one of the 25 Most Influential Women in the U. Just recently, Advertising Age named her among women who have made an impact on advertising during the past century.

Gurley Brown was the first woman recipient. But I wrote what I knew to be true—that sex is pleasurable for both women and men.

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A fall memorial will be announced at a later date.