August 14th, 2012
05:45 PM ET
The passing of Helen Gurley Brown and the engagement of America's sweetheart Jennifer Aniston may not seem to be connected, but they are when you think in terms of liberated women.
Gurley Brown, the former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, literally wrote the book on "Sex and the Single Girl" in 1962. The book focused on single women in an age where they were becoming more independent sexually and financially.
And while Aniston stands for many as the essential "good girl/girl next door" who also happened to snag some pretty hot guys, she, along with Gurley Brown, made us think of other pivotal single gal moments in pop culture.
1. Holly Golightly
The Truman Capote novel "Breakfast at Tiffany's" was published in 1958, but it was the film starring waif-like Audrey Hepburn in 1961 that solidified the character of this single girl in pop culture.
She was glamorous, she was fun and she had no problem admitting that she was a bit of a gold digger. Gotta love that.
2. Cosmopolitan magazine
Before it was the name of a drink, Cosmo was the single girl's bible.
Originally launched in the late 19th century as a family magazine, Gurley Brown transformed it when she came on board in 1965. Now the headlines on "How To Turn Him On and "50 Tips to Keep Him Coming Back for More" are standard single girl fare.
3. Chick lit
"Bridget Jones's Diary" was released in 1998, and helped take women's literature to a new place beyond romance novels a la Danielle Steele. Not that novels featuring feisty heroine characters more than ready to indulge their sexual fantasies didn't exist before (hello Jacqueline Susann), but books like "Diary" and "The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing" marked a brand new era in literature for women and by women.
4. "Living Single"
This show doesn't get nearly enough credit.
Many have compared it to NBC's hit show "Friends." The tale of six, single African American friends in New York City was popular for five seasons and offered a different perspective on single women of color.
5. "Sex and the City"
Come on. This list would not at all be complete without Carrie Bradshaw and the gang.
No one, but no one epitomized what Helen Gurley Brown championed more than the HBO series which fans love so much that they can't seem to let it go. Luckily they don't have to thanks to Netflix, a DVD box set, movies and of course the broadcast reruns.
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