Is Helen Gurley Browns legacy more than just sex quizzes and cleavage?
A new biography of Cosmo’s founder proclaims her a pioneer of today’s raunchy, unapologetic brand of feminism. By Laura Miller Apr. 12, 2009 | The long, fabulous life of Helen Gurley Brown has stretched between the heydays of two iconic blondes: Lorelei Lee (the gold-digging flapper created by Anita Loos and best known for declaring that diamonds are a girl’s best friend) and Carrie Bradshaw, the shoe-worshiping sex columnist and everygirl heroine of “Sex and the City.” Jennifer Scanlon, a professor of gender and women’s studies at Bowdoin College and the author of the first full-length biography of Brown, “Bad Girls Go Everywhere,” astutely compares her subject to these two figures in the first pages of her book, undeterred by the fact that both Lorelei and Carrie are fictional. In a way, so is Helen Gurley Brown — and not just because Natalie Wood played a completely fabricated version of her in the 1964 film ostensibly based on Brown’s bestselling book “Sex and the Single Girl.” Li