Wednesday, August 22, 2012

An Open Letter To Helen Gurley Brown

Dear Ms. Gurley Brown:
I'll be honest: I've been thinking about this letter ever since I learned of your death a couple weeks ago. I could have written you a letter sooner -- and maybe I should have -- but this letter deserved more than that. Because, well, you deserved more than that, more than some off-the-top-of-my-head musings that could be easily forgotten. Why? Because you were one of those rare unforgettable women, especially to us women writers. You made a mark on the world -- and a mark on me -- that will ripple through generations to come. In fact, maybe I wouldn't even be the writer and woman I am today had it not been for you -- and these 3 life lessons only you could teach me...

Being comfortable with who you are is sexy
You showed women that loving yourself is most important in life. And even more important? Being comfortable with yourself is never something you should be ashamed of. Actually, it's something to be celebrated. Being a woman is a wonderful thing, and any man who can't appreciate and love you just isn't worth it.

It's OK to go against the norm
In an era where women were expected to get married and start a family at a young age, usually at the expense of any sort of career, you decided to forge your own path. And in doing so, whether you knew it or not, you forged a path for the rest of us. You got married when you were 37 and took over Cosmopolitan magazine at 43. How refreshing to know that it is OK to go at your own pace in life and not feel the least bit guilty for it. We don't have to settle for a life that is anything less than the life we've always wanted, and we certainly don't have to marry someone out of desperation that we'll never find the one, so it's now or never.

Approach life with a fun, fearless attitude
I love this approach to life, which also happens to be Cosmo's tag line to define the modern woman. Life can get pretty hectic, stressful and all-around heavy at time, so it's important to be able to have fun. And when life starts to feel uncertain and a bit terrifying? There's nothing like a little fearlessness to empower you, you know?

So, thank you, Mrs. Gurley Brown, for shaping the life, loves and passions of this young writer. I hope that women for centuries to come will make you proud... xoxo

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