She wears Rudi Gernreich dresses, David Webb jewelry, a Piaget watch, expensive hairpieces, custom-cut false eyelashes—but it never quite seems to come together properly. An erring keeps falling off. A wig is askew. A perfect matched stocking has a run. All of which not-quite-right effect is intensified because Helen Gurley Brown relentelessly talks about her flat chest, her nose job, her split ends, her adolescent acne, her forty-minute regimen of iosmetrics and exercises to stay in shape. She does not bring up these faults to convince you she is unattractive but rather to show you what can be done, what any girl can do if she really tries. “Self-help,” she says. “I wish there were better words, but that is my whole credo. You cannot sit around like a cupcake asking other people to come and eat you up and discover your great sweetness and charm. You’ve got to make yourself more cupcakable all the time so you’re a better cupcake to be gobbled up.
— Nora Ephron on Helen Gurley Brown, quoted at Slate