The end of World War I brought with it a change in culture and fashion. A new type of woman appeared and she was referred to as a flapper. The way a flapper wore her hair, dressed, and behaved publicly, expressed her rebellion against the rules of conduct set for women in the nineteenth century. A woman referred to as a flapper smoked, drank, and made her own rules.
The generation that preceded the Flappers of the 1920s, did not understand the rebellious acts of this new type of woman. She was the complete opposite of the typical young woman of the nineteenth century. Instead of wearing her hair long and fashioned stylishly on her head, a flapper cut her hair short to resemble a boy's haircut. Whereas a young woman in the nineteenth century wore a long dress that went all the way up to her chin, a flapper wore short skirts that swung up over her knees when she danced. Nineteenth century women were modest and carefully obeyed the established rules of conduct when speaking to a man. Flappers danced and flaunted their romances in public. Flappers didn't just ignore the rulebook of proper conduct they set it on fire. They were promiscuous and carried on as many relationships as they pleased. The image of the demure nineteenth century young woman had been pushed aside and replaced with a 1920s flapper on a search for fun and romantic excitement.
Famous Flapper Women
There were several famous Flappers to appear in the 1920s. Among them was Louise Brooks. She was an actress who wore a sleek, black bob. Her lovely image in silent films was a mysterious one. She portrayed a Flapper character in many of her films including one entitled, A Social Celebrity. She went on to make two dozen movies with some of the most famous names in Hollywood. She was also the inspiration for the popular comic entitled, Dixie Dugan.
Flappers In Entertainment
The era of the Flapper was reflected on magazine covers, in books and in the movie theaters. Popular 1920s writer F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote about the Flappers he knew and observed in his raucous social life. One particular short story of Fitzgerald's entitled, Bernice Bobs Her Hair deals with a typical young woman in the 1920s trying to find her way. The images of women on fashion and movie magazines frequently featured the popular bob haircut, cloche hat, and short dress of the time.
Flapper fashion of the 1920s included raised hemlines, rolled stockings, long strings of pearls, and plenty of rouge applied to the cheeks. The risks young women took with fashion communicated their desire to be seen as individuals and free spirits. They wanted to show how different they were from their nineteenth century counterparts.
The dating scene in the 1920s was a wild one for the uninhibited flapper. They set a new standard for women and challenged the established thinking of society.
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