In the early Twenties there were a good many social changes which men had to struggle to understand; among them was the "Modern Woman". The Italian novelist and lexicographer Alfredo Panzini (1863 - 1939) attempted to do just that for the editors of Vanity Fair.
"Don't expect us", she says to you, disconsolate male, "don't expect us to be like the old-fashioned girls who went to church, and did the laundry, and looked up to their husbands as to their God."
The attached column first appeared in FLAPPER MAGAZINE and begins with three paragraphs outlining the ceaseless march of flappers throughout the centuries (Eve, Cleopatra, Madame Du Barry, etc...) and then dedicates the remaining three paragraphs to the various legal dust-ups flappers were causing throughout the fruited plane:
"In Vinland, Kansas, a town of 400 inhabitants, [the rustics are up-in-arms because] Alice Hansen and Maude Buchanan, 16-year-old flappers, and daughters of farmers, are wearing skirts shorter than those that are in vogue among the high school pupils....it is now up to the highbrows of the Supreme Court of Kansas to decide the case and bring a satisfying verdict...All this criticism of flappers is bunk and should be treated lightly."
More juvenile flapper verses revealing that the flapper is as old as history itself - and far more meddlesome than her male counterpart.
Click here to read a FLAPPER MAGAZINE review of an anti-flapper movie.
Click here to read an article about the demise of a popular 1940s hairstyle.
By the time this piece appeared in THE CHICAGO DAILY NEWS (prior to being picked up by the fast crowd at FLAPPER MAGAZINE) Colleen Moore was all of twenty-one years of age with fourteen Hollywood films to her credit. This interview was conducted over lunch by the polished Hollywood reporter Gladys Hall, who we're sure picked up the check; on that day Miss Moore wanted to talk about flappers, a flock she was proud to be numbered among (and a subject she seemed to know well).
FLAPPER MAGAZINE crowned itself the
"official organ of the national flapper's flock"
If nothing else, this verbiage simply spells out that the editors took themselves very, very seriously indeed and it was in that same spirit they gleefully went to work disemboweling a movie that they saw as anti-flapper to its very core. The film in question was
"Nice People (Paramount, 1922) starring Bebe Daniels and Wallace Reid. Produced by Willam C. deMille (1878 – 1955), elder brother of Cecil, the film makers were clearly intimating that "nice people" will always keep their flapper daughters in line; it is at that point in the flick when the reviewer dipped her pen in the ink:
"This is one of the themes that 'old fogies' usually delight in; the 'reformation' of the flapper... The picture is replete with pithy subtitles, such as 'the smart girl of today removes the rouge from her lips only to kiss and make up.'"
Perhaps the above headline gives too much credit to the flappers alone for changing the sex codes of North America; the truth is that they were one of the necessary elements, in addition to motion pictures, music, automobiles and greater job opportunities for women, that, when mixed together created a new social contract. Be that as it may, it wouldn't have changed without them and the attached article spells it all out as to how the flappers of the 1920s had "stripped the female body of its Victorian wrappings and proudly displayed it in the sunlight".
To read more on this topic, click here.
You might also want read about sex during the Great Depression of the 1930s.