Helen Gurley Brown: That Cosmo girl

When Morley Safer interviewed Helen Gurley Brown, the iconic editor of Cosmopolitan, for 60 Minutes in 1974, he described her as "the woman women love to hate"

When Morley Safer interviewed Helen Gurley Brown, the iconic editor of Cosmopolitan, for 60 Minutes in 1974, he described her as "the high priestess of sex for millions of women," but also as "the woman women love to hate." That's because many of Brown's contemporaries accused her of perpetuating the idea that women are nothing but sex objects.

While glossy covers offering salacious love life advice are common today, back in 1974, Brown was considered outrageous and out-of-line for featuring articles like "Creative Infidelity" and "Women, Men and Kinky Sex," in the pages of Cosmo, which then also included centerfolds of famous men nearly in the buff.

In response to the criticism, Brown said, "I feel being a sex object is so divine and so wonderful that there is nothing better; that you can be a sex object and you can also be the president of General Motors." She added, "I think men are sex objects. And it certainly doesn't slow you down -that women desire you sexually."

Brown died yesterday in New York at the age of 90. For over three decades, Brown was editor-in-chief of the women's magazine, a once-ailing publication she transformed into a saucy, sexy, must-have guide for the single woman.

  • Vidya Singh

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