The Flapper

Pert Rouge AdvertisementA symbol of young women's freedom and independence, the flapper redefined how a new generation of women expressed femininity. Lively and full of energy, she was single but eligible. She dared to shorten her skirts (at first just to the ankles, eventually up to the knees) and bob her hair in a short cut - like a boy's, but longer. Just as the flapper rejected her mother's long hair, she also discarded Victorian fashions, especially the corset, which accentuated women's curves. Flappers preferred to be slender, even if it meant dieting or binding their breasts and wearing restrictive undergarments to create appear thin, flat-chested, and long-limbed.Woman getting haircut Cultivating a flapper image and adhering to modern beauty standards also involved purchasing and applying cosmetics. Wearing lipstick, rouge, and eyeshadow, flappers resembled prostitutes to an older generation. These young women further blurred the boundaries between respectable and depraved by their public activities; swearing, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, dancing, and dating were among her pastimes. Condemned by most of her elders, the athletic, independent, and sexual young woman nevertheless found affirmation-and pleasure-within a thriving peer culture.

 

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