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The Roaring Twenties: Flappers

Women from the 1920s were not the regular women from earlier decades. Women from the 1920s started to become rebellious in such ways that they already smoked cigarettes, drink alcoholic beverages, partied all night long, wear very heavy or dramatic makeup, cut their hair very short (the bob haircut), voted during elections, and even play physical sports. Some people even say that during the 1920s or the roaring twenties that a new woman was born. Women from the roaring twenties were then referred to as “flappers”.

What is a Flapper?

Flapper is a term referred to young girls in transition to womanhood from the 1920s and was first used in Great Britain just after World War I. There are numerous different meanings of the term flapper, depending on where you are looking. There is this dictionary in UK that defines the term flapper as a “fledging, yet in the nest, and vainly attempting to fly while its wings have only pinfeathers.”

In America, the term flapper means something different from how it is defined in the UK. In America, they always use the term flapper in referring to women who are attractive, rebellious, attractive, slightly unconventional, foolish girl, etc. To be considered a flapper, it will not only need for a woman to look like one, but also to have an attitude of a flapper.

Image of a Flapper

The Roaring Twenties: Flappers

To some people, the flapper image is somehow drastic and shocking since women were dressed very differently compared to how women are regularly dressed during the 1910s and earlier years. Clothes loved by flappers during the 1920s were something they can move freely with, since women or flappers love to dance to Jazz music. Another distinct image of a flapper is the “garconne” look or the little boy look that has been popularized by Coco Chanel. Just to achieve the “garconne” look, some women tightly wound their chests to make it look flat and the cut of their clothes or dresses are straight to the hipline to somehow mask or hide their curves.

Skirt hemlines during the 1920s also started to rise. At first only a few inches, but later during the 1920s, hemlines of skirts were already just below the knees. There are some old women who find the drastic change of skirt hemlines to be improper for women to wear, since they considered it to be revealing too much skin already.