By Rachel Weingarten, Special to CNN
Editor's note: Rachel Weingarten is a style expert and brand consultant. She teaches beauty history and marketing at the Fashion Institute for Technology and New York University and is the author of "Hello Gorgeous! Beauty Products in America '40s-'60s." Find her on Twitter @rachelcw
(CNN) - Two iconic women with seemingly radically different world views died recently, leaving legacies of humor, pioneering spirit, and striking public personas.
As divergent as their styles were, former Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown and comedian Phyllis Diller each used their appearance as a means to an end: Diller to make herself the butt of the joke, Gurley Brown to get ahead personally and professionally - and to show generations of women how to do the same. Whether chasing beauty or mocking it, these women broke ground by reflecting and reshaping the values of their eras while paving the way for the women behind them.