Helen Gurley Brown was an icon, an inspiration to young women of the '60s and '70s. And, quite apart from the Sex and the Single Girl
angle, as an editor she transformed Cosmopolitan
from a largely amorphous sort-of-women's-mag for the housewife into a quite vibrant publication featuring not only the usual "how to lose 10 pounds in 10 minutes" nonsense but articles of real concern to young women as well as first-rate fiction. Some well-known names of authors seen regularly on best-seller lists became regular contributors. Ira Levin's Rosemary's Baby
was first published in Cosmo
in slightly abridged format, for example.