In the 1920 s, a new woman was born. She smoked, drank, danced, and voted. She cut her hair, wore make-up, and went to parties. She was giddy and took risks. She was a flapper. Where before the start of World War I, the Gibson Girl was the rage.
Inspired by Charles Dana Gibson’s drawings, the Gibson Girl wore her long hair loosely on top of her head and wore a long straight skirt and a shirt with a high collar. She was feminine but also broke through several gender barriers for her attire allowed her to participate in sports, including golf, roller skating, and bicycling. Women were just as anxious as the men to avoid returning to society’s rules and roles after the war. In the age of the Gibson Girl, young women did not date, they waited until a proper young man formally paid her interest with suitable intentions However, nearly a whole generation of young men had died in the war, leaving nearly a whole generation of young women without possible suitors. Young women decided that they were not willing to waste away their young lives waiting idly for spinsterhood; they were going to enjoy life. So the flapper was born With a image consisted of drastic to some with shocking changes in women’s clothing and hair.
Nearly every article of clothing was cut and make from thinner material in order to make dancing easier. Like the hem of the skirts also started to rise in the 1920 s. Flappers also started wearing make-up, something that had previously been only worn by loose women. Rouge, powder, eye-liner, and lipstick became extremely popular. The flapper attitude was characterized by stark truthfulness, fast living, and sexual behavior. They took risks and were reckless.
Artists and entertainers built the foundations of America's well-known culture. Jazz musicians and club singers encouraged a world of passion, rebellion and freedom and the big-screen stars changed the world of America's young generation of the era. Jazz music encouraged awareness of Black Americans and on some level, placed whites and blacks on the same step of the ladder. Entertainers set the ...
they wanted to be different, to announce that their different from the Gibson Girl. So they smoked. Something only men had done previously. Smoking wasn’t the most outrageous of the flapper’s rebellious actions.
Flappers drank alcohol. At a time when the US had outlawed alcohol with the 18 th amendment. Flappers had a scandalous image as the ‘giddy flapper, rouged and clipped, careening in a drunken stupor to the lewd strains of a jazz quartet.’ The 1920 s was the Jazz Age and one of the most popular past-times for flappers was dancing. Dances such as the Charleston, Black Bottom, and the Shimmy were considered ‘wild’ by older generations. As described in the May 1920 edition of the Atlantic Monthly, flappers ‘trot like foxes, limp like lame ducks, one-step like cripples, and all to the barbaric yawp of strange instruments which transform the whole scene into a moving-picture of a fancy ball in bedlam.’ 15 For the Younger Generation, the dances fit their fast-paced life-style.
For the first time since the train and the bicycle, a new form of faster transportation was becoming popular. Henry Ford’s innovations were making the automobile an accessible commodity to the people. Cars were fast and risky – perfect for the flapper attitude. Flappers not only insisted on riding in them; they drove them.