A flapper was a modern woman of the 1920’s with bobbed hair, short skirts, and dramatic make-up. (sparknotes.com) The flapper was also used to represent a new type of young woman. It represented a woman that was bold, rebellious, and energetic. Only a small percentage of American women were flappers. The image of the flapper had a huge impact on the rest of the nation’s fashion and behavior. Most women began to cut their hair short. It was called bobbing. Many parents wouldn’t allow it. To the older generation, it seemed taboo to have short hair. Some of the daughters of these people felt old-fashioned for not having their hair cut short. (Hakim, 42) Before the twenties, it was rare for a woman’s ankle to be glimpsed upon beneath long skirts. Yet, during the ’20’s, the ankles were highly visible as the hemlines for women’s skirts rapidly went up and up, as
A positive effect of the Industrial Revolution was the decrease in prices. Before the Industrial Revolution people had worked at home on farms or in small workshops. Making cloth was done entirely by hand which caused clothes to be more expensive. This meant that most people had 1 shirt and 1 pant. In the 1700s people began buying more and more goods, so textile traders began to look for faster and cheaper ways of producing clothes. The decrease in prices came from the introduction of machines such as the spinning jenny which spun 8 threads at a time, the flying shuttle which increased the speed of weaving, and the water frame which was a large spinning machine driven by
For the past hundred years the need for clothing increased since the number of people of keeps growing. As the years go on, producers must find new ways to produce more clothing to make more profit and keep up with demand. Before people would either have to ride all the way into town to have tailors make their clothes, or have someone at home make the clothing for them. But as the years progressed, methods have changed dramatically.
People indulge in clothes shopping every day and often do not consider the changes that occurred throughout time that led to the development of mass produced clothing for both men and women. As a result of the Civil War, the production of clothing shifted from homemade clothing to clothing mass produced in factories. After the Civil War, Urbanization along with new developments, such as advertising and the new, wealthy urban class, increased the demand for mass produced women’s clothing and clothing stores that made clothing readily available.
Throughout the ages women have been stricken with often male-made oppression in many forms on the long, difficult road to their eventual initiation into equal rights. Some aspects of women’s rights today were obtained by questionable means in the past. One such act of liberation by questionable means was the introduction of a class of women in the 1920s known as flappers. These flappers were the beginning of a new wave of sexually and intellectually liberated women. Women of this age wore short skirts and revealing clothing in addition to cutting their hair into bobs and smoking and drinking publicly. These women were also outspoken in many areas,
Flapper by Joshua Zeitz is a book that tells an epic story about the American women during the time of the 1920’s. For a better understanding, a flapper would typically be a young girl who blurred the gender roles by taking on a more masculine lifestyle. They wore their hair short, drank and smoked frequently, and explored their sexuality. With this behavior, it didn’t destroy their femininity; it just simply provided the society’s perception of what a woman should and should not be.
Flappers in the 1920s where the girls and women that dressed less modestly. They also disobeyed the rules that most women and girls followed. They did what others would not ever think of doing in this time period.
Frederick Lewis Allen, in his famous chronicle of the 1920s Only Yesterday, contended that women’s “growing independence” had accelerated a “revolution in manners and morals” in American society (95). The 1920s did bring significant changes to the lives of American women. World War I, industrialization, suffrage, urbanization, and birth control increased women’s economic, political, and sexual freedom. However, with these advances came pressure to conform to powerful but contradictory archetypes. Women were expected to be both flapper and wife, sex object and mother. Furthermore, Hollywood and the emerging “science” of advertising increasingly tied conceptions of femininity to
“Good Morning Birmingham today we will be getting a little into flappers on this cool fall day. Flappers are breaking the normal and changing the times no matter what anyone else says. For those that don't know, flappers by definition are fashionable young women whose only goal is to enjoy herself and go against what others tend to think is right. They are bringing up their hems and showing off their legs. The older generation look down upon this saying it’s not lady like and it must stop. But flappers have another idea in mind. They want freedom to do what they want, from being able to cut their hair short and going out all night. I have a flapper here with me in the studio and her name is Linda. How are you Linda?” I said.
Flappers were northern, urban, single, young, middle-class women. Many held steady jobs in the changing American economy. The clerking jobs that blossomed in the Gilded Age was more numerous than ever. Women were needed on the sales floor to relate to the most precious customers- other women. But the flapper was not all work and no play( “Flappers.” Ushistory.org, Independence Hall Association, 2008).
As society changed in the 1920s, a new kind of woman emerged with the “flapper girl”, a new kind of modern woman that the movie business replicated on and off screen with Clara Bow. Bow was a superstar of the 1920s, exemplifying the concept of the “it” girl that surpassed the conventionality that existed in the traditional view of how a woman should be depicted and moved forward to the standard of the new modern woman. Richard Koszarski emphasized this concept in his book An Evening's Entertainment: The Age of the Silent Feature Picture, 1915-1928, in which he described how filmmakers looked to create an image of the modern 1920s woman using Bow to reflect new trends in the female realm, especially that of the “it” girl, having Bow “...[personify] the giddier aspects of… The Roaring Twenties…” with her “...position as a prototypical flapper…” seen throughout her movies, as she displayed the qualities of the “it” girl: comedic humor, sexuality, and confidence (Koszarski 308).
In February 1915, the New York magazine, The Smart Set: A Magazine of Cleverness, featured a piece called, The Flapper. This was the first time a magazine had ever shown the rebellious young girl who wore short dresses and skirts in the 1920’s. The magazine described the flapper as “A charming creature!” (The Smart Set : A Magazine of Cleverness) and continued to boast the reputation of the flapper by portraying her as educated and mysterious. The magazine Vanity Fair soon followed in September of 1921, but this magazine demolished the reputation of the flapper girl. “Why aren’t they at home?” (Panzini "The Flapper - a New Type: September 1921) the magazine and the majority of people asked. The article then described how the image of the flapper girl is distinguishing a mother from her daughter by the way they acted and dressed.
Because The Great War had, in a sense, given them empowerment (right to vote, career opportunity), women adopted a spunky attitude that led to a daring clothing style; and were, indeed, good candidates for businesses who strived for consummators. They threw away the traditional clothes, which covered their back and legs to adopt hemlines and the boylike French style “ garconnes.’’ They wore short hair and cloche hats, which perfectly fitted the short hairstyle. People called this new species of women “flappers.” They were know for wearing heavy make up, smoking, driving, having casual sexual activities…in one word, for doing everything that was known “masculine”
No longer did people wear what they used to- Clothing became increasingly fashionable, personal, and stylish rather than a bare necessity. Belts, pins, sashes, laces, corsets, gemstones- Things were evolving, things we use to this day were being created thanks to these early fashion connoisseurs. But when the industrial revolution hit, things headed back to the way they were. Simpler, less unique clothing for the common man. However, the process of ready-making clothing came about. No longer was a tailor a part of the process for your everyday clothing. You could purchase, at a much cheaper price than a tailor charged, clothing in one of several sizes.
The iconic 1920s bring forth images of jazz singers and gangsters as well as the legendary image of the flapper. These women gained the right vote, moved to the city and participated in the night life, some even drank or smoke. These women embraced their sexuality and changed the fashion scene of America. Joshua Zeitz’s, 2006 book, Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern, looks at how these women critically changed the face of the American woman. Zeitz attempts to battle the typical stereotypes of the flapper ideal and offer that these were the women of a modern America. Using census data, historical government documents and utilizing a sociological study collected for several years throughout the Twenties, Zeitz explains that the flapper was made up of two separate concepts. One image created by Hollywood and the media and, yet, a real representation of women that occurred in life. Part social history, popular culture and biography, Flapper discusses themes such as women’s rights, fashion, media and the 1920s entertainment market.