How Flappers Invented the Modern Woman

By | October 24, 2018

test article image
Actress Nanette Fabray dresses as a Flapper -- (Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

One of the most memorable and endearing images of the 1920s is that of a Flapper. Flappers were often depicted as fun-loving, carefree, party girls who could drink and smoke as much as the men who flocked to dance with them. What this generation of young women was doing by cutting their hair, shortening their skirts, taking jobs and breaking societal rules was redefining the role of women in our culture. They were inventing the modern woman. Here’s how. 

test article image

Flappers Dodged Victorian Traditions

Flappers were coming to age just after the Victorian Era…known for its rigid, conservative rules. A Victorian woman was expected to follow unquestioningly traditions. She would dress modestly, wear her long hair pulled up in stern buns, marry early and devote her life to serving her husband and raising her children. Flappers discarded this lifestyle in favor of one in which women were not pigeonholed into a pre-determined life.