The Divine Wisdom of Helen Gurley Brown

Photo: Bettmann / Corbis

Known as the woman who created the blueprint for the ‘Fun, Fearless Female,” Helen Gurley Brown was the author of the groundbreaking ‘Sex and The Single Girl’ (which is widely credited as the inspiration for SATC) and served as the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine for 32 years. Those who knew her (and I know a couple) claim that she was exactly as she seemed — witty, wise and completely authentic — and point out that its no surprise to them that she remains an icon a decade after her death.

While some of her advice didn’t age well — she didn’t believe in the concept of sexual harassment and suggested sleeping with married men was perfectly fine — there’s no denying this woman was a powerhouse who left a lasting imprint on all genders. Today, we are sharing some of HGB’s best pieces of wisdom, best served with an ice cold martini while wearing a fabulous pair of heels.

On Friendships:

“People’s lives change. To keep all your old friends is like keeping all your old clothes—pretty soon your closet is so jammed and everything so crushed you can’t find anything to wear.”

On People pleasing:

Feed the alligators and you get bigger alligators.”

On The Power of a Glow-Up:

“Nearly every glamorous, wealthy, successful career woman you envy now started out as some kind of schlep.”

On The Importance of Learning:

“Beauty can’t amuse you, but brainwork—reading, writing, thinking—can.”

On How to Be Good Company:

“Never fail to know that if you are doing all of the talking, you are boring somebody.”

On Dating:

“The only reason a man doesn’t call is that he doesn’t want to.”

On Living:

“You know you can’t hope yourself a better life – you must take yourself there.”

On Getting Sh*t Done:

“Get up and do it if it needs to be done, even if you hate it!”

You can find HGB’s other book, “Having it All” here and learn more about her in this documentary.

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