Samara O'Shea

Sex and the Single Girl

There is a write-up in the NY Times today about publishing legend and avid letter writer Helen Gurley Brown. The first biography about Ms. Brown has been written—entitled Bad Girls Go Everywhere.

I LOVE Helen. She was a woman WAY ahead of her time—the prerequisite personality to Carrie Bradshaw. I used to see her all the time in the Hearst building when I worked there. She is retired but still loved coming into the office every day and advising the Cosmo International division. Just before For the Love of Letters came out, I wrote Helen a letter asking if she’d consider giving me a jacket quote for the book. She said no, but she said it in a letter, which made everything okay. I’ll have it framed one of these days!

Here’s a progressive bit from the article (FYI: Helen got married at the age of 37):

The early 1960s was not a cheerful time for single women in America; they were viewed with pity if not outright suspicion. As Ms. Brown put it, the prevailing attitude was: “If you were female and not married by age 30, you might as well go to the Grand Canyon and throw yourself in.” Ms. Brown knew, the author writes, that single women “wanted to feel good about rather than ashamed of the life choices they made or contemplated.” The single girl, she proclaimed, “is a giver, not a taker, a winner and not a loser.”