Saturday, August 18, 2012


"She was the sexiest suffragette of them all." —Lorraine Candy, The Daily Mail
"If she wanted to sleep with a man, she did."
—Suzi Parker, The Washington Post

American author, publisher, businesswoman and editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine for 32 years (from 1965 until 1997), Helen Gurley Brown, has passed away at the age of 90 years old.

                  Helen Gurley Brown dishes it to young ladies.

July 1965
Brown shocked America in the 1960's with her book"sex and the single girl" then carried on doing it for 3 decades as the editor of cosmopolitan magazine, from 1965-1997.. Sex talk, voluptious models and titillating cover lines were all created by her influence.  She would dispense advice on how to “properly” carry on an affair.  The series Sex and the City would not exist without her. There would be no Carrie Bradshaw.

Helen on sex: "If only one of you is in the mood, do it. Even if sex isn’t great every time, it's a unique form of communication and togetherness that can help you stay together with a good degree of contentment."

Sharrie Williams and Pearl Peskin, 1965.
I had just graduated from Culver City High School when Helen Gurley Brown became editor of Cosmopolitan magazine and her first issue came out in July, 1965.  My friend Peal was the first to buy the new issue and we quickly browsed though it to gather sex tips for young ladies heading to College.  We considered the new "Cosmo" a female Esquire, bordering on a respectable Playboy magazine for young girls.  Being a virgin, I was especially interested in Helen Gurley Brown's advice on sex and I never missed an issue of "Cosmo"..... hoping to become an actress, Playboy Bunny or an Airline Stewardess.....  But in the end I wound up taking Browns other advise, "Marry a decent, good, kind person who will cherish you." which I did and lived happily ever after for a long time."

The AMC show, Mad Men, takes place during the 1960's, just as Helen Gurley Brown was changing the way young single girls viewed themselves in the work place. Another 60's flashback show is Pan Am, about 4  interesting women leading complicated lives, ranging from affairs to broken engagements to international espionage. Along with these to sexy shows was The Playboy Club.  Sadly Pan-Am and the Playboy Club have been canceled I hear.  But my point is, obviously I wasn't the only young girl seeking the kind of attention Brown was selling in the 1960's if three network and cable stations produced shows on the same line of thinking.  So needless to say, Brown not only had tremendous influence on me and my girlfriends she is still influencing the media today.  So Rest in Peace Helen, you may not be missed but you sure didn't miss a trick in an era so thirsty for what you had to say.

Between 1964 and 1968 Ultra Lash was the sexy breakthrough mascara every girl had in her make-up case.  I had the thrill of being part of the excitement when Ultra-Lash, Ultra Brow and Ultra-Shadow were introduced to the public and you can read all about that and the 1960's from my point of view in my book, The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It.  Thank You for following the Maybelline Book Blog and if you'd like to be a guest blogger, just contact me at and give me your idea along with a few pictures and contact information.  Check my past guest bloggers by looking under past posts on the right hand side of this page.

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