Monday, March 9, 2009

Living It Up in the Roaring Twenties (7)

The Flapper Girl of the 1920s: The Modern Woman

The 1920s was also referred to as the roaring twenties or the jazz age. It was a new and exciting era of pleasure , enjoyment, prosperity, entertainment, arts, literature, wild petting parties, fast brazen women, and characterized by a greater frankness about the subject of sex.

"The Roaring Twenties was a time when many people defied Prohibition, indulged in new styles of dancing and dressing, and rejected many traditional moral standards."(11)

It was the age of the Flapper girl. She was the new totally modern woman, who smoked in public, voted, drank cocktails, danced, bobbed her hair, wore make-up, painted her lips bright red, went to petting parties and defied all rules of acceptable feminine behavior. She wore baggy short sleeve dresses, with waistlines dropping to the hips and the hems rising to the knees. Rebelling against corsets, the flapper would flatten her chest by bounding it with strips of cloth, giving herself a boyish look.

By 1928 everyone was singing praises to the glory days of America. It was a time when American businessmen and economists were feeling overly confident that the erratic fluctuations in the business cycle were finally under control. They were not even curious about the terrible sense of foreboding of some impending doom that was looming over the nation like a black cloud. Little did they know at the time that this would be a rude awakening for the "American Dream' of many, which they undoubtedly would be caught unprepared.. During October 24-28, 1929, the stock market crashed plunging the nation into one of the worst and longest depressions ever seen in its entire financial history lasting from the end of 1929 until the outbreak of World War II in 1939. Millions of shares changed hands and billions of dollars in value were lost.

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11) The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Edited by E.D. Hirsch, Jr., Joseph F. Kett, and James Trefil. Copyright © 2002 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Miriam Medina is the author of this article. If you would like to leave a comment please contact:

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