Anne Greene here.
The 1920s woman was sometimes called a flapper. She became the symbol of young women who championed new ideas about womanhood. Women no longer submitted to strict Victorian morality. Instead, they changed the social status of women by transforming the concept of the ideal woman.
In the previous few decades, the Gibson Girl, with her long luxurious hair, her hourglass figure, and elegant tailored gowns, had been the ideal of femininity. She was corseted, educated and accomplished, and her priorities consisted of finding a husband and starting a family. The Gibson Girl used flirtation and femininity to achieve her goals. Flappers rebelled against this model of womanhood.
Rebellious flappers cut off the long hair their mothers prized, favoring the short bob. They rejected the waist-constricting corset, and the hourglass figure. Their loose-fitting dresses, with drop waists and knee-length skirts, created a boyish silhouette which some women enhanced by binding their breasts. Flappers wore makeup, which had previously been associated only with prostitution. Make-up's new popularity also changed the way it was used. Instead of attempting to imitate nature, flappers used cosmetics to create small bow mouths and pale skin. This starkly contrasted with the rosy look their mothers prized. However, young women in the 1920s wanted not only to look different from their mothers, they wanted to act differently too.
Flappers rejected traditional rules of propriety in favor of a modern, fast-paced lifestyle. They were frank and socially liberated. Many of their ways shocked their elders. Young women engaged in activities previously limited to men, such as smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol – even though Prohibition made drinking illegal. They listened to jazz music and danced new, energetic dances, like the Charleston and the Black Bottom. Their parents objected that these dances were wild and obscene. They loved automobiles, finding speed and risk a perfect fit. Women insisted on driving.
Flapper culture instigated baby steps towards a more liberal society, but many attempts to make changes in acceptable behavior and gender roles failed. Most young women who cut their hair and dressed like flappers did not go to the extremes of flapper behavior. This made flapper culture more acceptable, but watered down its message of social change.
Flappers wanted equality with men in the business world as well as the social world. Women had just won the right to vote and wanted the right to work in the non-traditional women’s jobs like teaching and shop work.
If you had been living in the 1920s would you have remained at home like the Gibson Girl or would you have wanted wider spaces? Leave a comment for a chance to win my new book, ANGEL WITH STEEL WINGS.
ANGEL WITH STEEL WINGS is a World War II romance where Steel Magnolias meet Band of Brothers. While test flying planes as a Woman Air Service Pilot, WASP, Mandy McCabe escapes her dead-end life in Hangman’s Hollow, Tennessee. But, can she escape from her past? Major Harvey Applegate lost his wife to the WASP program, and he’s convinced Yankee Doodle Gals have no place flying in the war effort. He determines to protect the remaining WASPs by sending them packing back to the home front. Can a man burdened with memories of death undertake added emotional danger? Will their new love survive the test? One love. Two goals. Someone has to give.
ANNE GREENE delights in writing about wounded heroes and gutsy heroines. Her Scottish historical novels, Masquerade Marriage and Marriage By Arrangement, won awards. A Texas Christmas Mystery also won awards. Two new books released this year, Angel With Steel Wings and Red Is For Rookie. Anne makes her home in McKinney, Texas. Tim LaHaye led her to the Lord when she was twenty-one and Chuck Swindoll is her Pastor. View Anne’s travel pictures and art work at http://www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com. Anne’s highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to an awesome new world and touch hearts to seek a deeper relationship with the Lord Jesus. Buy Anne’s books at http://www.Amazon.com. Talk with Anne on twitter at @TheAnneGreene. Visit Anne’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/AnneWGreeneAuthor.