Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World - Ann Shen (2016)
Helen Gurley Brown
Helen Gurley Brown (1922-2012) was editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine for more than thirty-two years, transforming it into the guide to a fun, sexy, fearless life for single girls. She worked at more than seventeen secretarial jobs before advancing as an ad agency copywriter; she was so good that she became one of the highest-paid copywriters in the 1960s—in a job few women held. In 1961, at the age of forty, she published her first book, Sex and the Single Girl, which openly encouraged single women to embrace careers, financial independence, and sex lives before marriage. It was the first of its kind.
In 1965, she made the leap to top dog at Cosmopolitan. Brown coined the term “mouseburger” to describe women like herself—who were born not particularly pretty, smart, or talented, and who didn’t have a fancy education or highbrow family background—and she spoke to these women. Her message: the way to get what you want out of life is not through a man but through your career; set your mind to something, and work really hard to get it. Oh, and you should definitely have a lot of fun on the way up—and not wait for marriage to bring you that happy ending.