Helping Women 'Get Everything out of Life': That's the Helen Gurley Brown Effect

Impact of Her Message Can't Be Overstated

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The coverage surrounding Helen Gurley Brown's passing last week covered many aspects of her life: How she was a self-described "mouseburger" from Arkansas who became the highest-paid woman in advertising on the West Coast. How she was the author of a best-selling book -- "Sex and the Single Girl" -- that fanned the flames of the sexual revolution. How she became the founder of a magazine -- Cosmopolitan -- that launched an empire, with over 64 editions sold in over 100 countries. How, according to The New York Times, if all the global readers of Cosmo came together, they would form the 12th-largest country.

But what was missing from most of the coverage was that Helen was the ultimate girlfriend, a woman who would kick off her stilettos, curl up on the couch and ask you questions about everything from your career to your marriage to your new red lipstick. She passionately believed that every woman had the power to achieve whatever she wanted in life -- and that Cosmo could help her do it. The relationship Helen had with Cosmo's readers was profound. At a time when women were stuck in very traditional roles, Helen said they deserved to have it all -- and more: the MBA, the manicure and the man. She was the original "Fun Fearless Female."

Even as we mourn her loss, the impact of her message continues to have cannot be overstated. When a woman walks into a business meeting wearing a killer pair of high heels -- that 's the Cosmo Effect. When a girl asks her doctor about something she read in the pages of Cosmo and it saves her life -- that 's the Cosmo Effect. When young women take it for granted that they can decide the path their lives will take -- that 's the Cosmo Effect.

In speaking to women like their closest girlfriend, Helen -- and Cosmo -- helped women everywhere "get everything out of life." That's the Cosmo Effect.

It was a joy and privilege to know Helen. To think that she revolutionized generations of women is humbling. She was a dearly loved friend whose life lessons will resonate both personally and professionally forever.

Donna Kalajian Lagani is senior VP and publishing director at Cosmopolitan and Cosmopolitan for Latinas.

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