Ode to Feminine Knees (Flapper Magazine, 1922)
When the skirt hems began to rise in the Twenties, it was widely understood that the vision of a woman's leg was a rare treat for both man and boy; a spectacle that had not been enjoyed since the days of Adam (married men excluded). The flappers certainly knew this, and they generally believed that suffering the dizzying enthusiasm of the male of the species was a small price to pay in order to secure some element of liberty. The flappers liked their hem-lengths just where they were and, thank you very much, they were not about to drop them. Attached are some verses by an anonymous flapper who expressed her reaction regarding all that undeserved male attention her knees were generating.
The Flappers and Their Fashion Rebellion (Flapper Magazine, 1922)
In the attached column, a high-spirited editorial writer hails the Flapper Revolution and singles out Paris fashion designer Paul Poiret (1879 - 1944) for being so out of step with the women of his day for continuing to design long dresses:
"When flappers rise en masse and say that they can see no reason for giving up a style that means comfort, freedom and health, then indeed, out of this welter of strikes, injunctions and warfare may be seen a glimmer of hope for mankind."
"M. Poiret, designer of Paris, has seen fit to take up the cudgels on behalf of the long skirt, and therefore he cannot object if the shafts of ridicule are hurled at him in return..."
The Common Sense of the Flappers (Flapper Magazine, 1922)
Originally writing for the Forrest Park Review, Flapper advocate Myrtle Heilman (1895 - 1973) opined that the Flapper was the one and only topic of the day worth thinking about:
"Analyze her dress. It's the most sensible thing since Eve. She wears rolled socks and why shouldn't she? They are extremely cool and comfortable. Her toddle pumps are fairly low-heeled and she doesn't try to squeeze into a Cinderella. Her skirts are short because it's the fashion. Her bobbed hair is cool, sensible and sanitary. There is a twinkle in her eye and she has a saucy cock-sureness. And why shouldn't she?"
"She does respect her parents and she obeys them, just as well as her grandmother did hers, but she has common sense and she knows when it's time to use her own judgment and exercise her own authority".
The Back-Hand from a Flapper (Flapper Magazine, 1922)
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.'"
New Fashioned Girls (Flapper Magazine, 1922)
Unearthed by a team of underpaid urban anthropologists digging all hours in the skankiest and most vile of magazine repositories was this single page of feminine poesy representative of an obscure, forgotten genre of Twentieth Century prosody that celebrated a brash cast of woman that was once known as a Flapper.
Alas, the name of the poet has been lost to time.
Colleen Moore: A Flapper in Hollywood (Flapper Magazine, 1922)
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).
Flappers Defy the Paris Dictators (Flapper Magazine, 1922)
"Will Paris succeed in imposing long skirts on the flappers of America?"
"Not if most of them have their way! When Paris started the short skirt fad and America eagerly aped it, the dressmakers figured that it would probably run its course and then die a sudden death. But no! For American flappers may be fickle but they know a good thing when they see it. And they intend to hang on to it."
Click here to read about another icon of the Twenties: Rudolph Valentino.
Silent Film Flapper Colleen Moore (Flapper Magazine, 1922)
By the time this piece first 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 no doubt, picked up the check; on that day Miss Moore wanted to talk about flappers.
The wise elders of Hollywood were perfectly fine about casting flappers to play in various movies, but they didn't always produce films that were sympathetic to their causes; for example, the editors of FLAPPER MAGAZINE hated this movie.
We recommend this book: The Silent Feminists
Flapper Beauty Contest (Flapper Magazine, 1922)
This funny announcement from the yellowing pages of FLAPPER MAGAZINE made it clear to one and all that all flappers were eligible to enter their "Flapper Beauty Contest":
"You don't have to be beautiful to be a flapper, and if you're not a flapper you wouldn't be considered beautiful. So there!"
(But we're sure it helped)