Fashion

08.13.12

13 Classic Helen Gurley Brown Quotes

The legendary editor of Cosmopolitan has died at the age of 90. Read her most memorable pieces of wisdom.

helen-gurley-brown
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Helen Gurley Brown, who died on Monday in New York City at age 90, was the legendary long-time editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, the saucy sparkplug for a sexual revolution, and the originator of the notion that a woman could “have it all.” Controversial and charismatic, she championed female empowerment and taught generations of women to embrace their feminine wiles and have fun in bed (married or not). Some of her best advice on love, sex, and what really matters:

1.
“Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.” 

2.
“Beauty can't amuse you, but brainwork—reading, writing, thinking—can.” 

3.
“My success was not based so much on any great intelligence but on great common sense.” 

4.
“Never fail to know that if you are doing all the talking, you are boring somebody.” 

5.
“Nearly every glamorous, wealthy, successful career woman you might envy now started out as some kind of schlepp.” 

6.
“What you have to do is work with the raw material you have, namely you, and never let up.” 

7.
“If you’re not a sex object, you’re in trouble.” 

8.
“A man likes to sleep with a brainy girl. She’s a challenge. If he makes good with her, he figures he must be good himself.” 

9.
“Money, if it does not bring you happiness, will at least help you be miserable in comfort.”

10.
“How could any woman not be a feminist? The girl I’m editing for wants to be known for herself. If that’s not a feminist message, I don’t know what is.”

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11.
“After you're older, two things are possibly more important than any others: health and money.”

12.
“One of the paramount reasons for staying attractive is so you can have somebody to go to bed with.”

13.
“You can have your titular recognition. I'll take money and power.”