Short skirts, blush on the knees, lips with a bow: what were the flappers, young rebels of the "roaring 20s"
Categories: HistoryBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/short-skirts-blush-on-the-knees-lips-with-a-bow-what-were-the-flappers-young-rebels-of-the-roaring-20s1
Flappers are emancipated girls who personified the generation of the "roaring twenties". Page haircut, heavily lined eyes, bright lips, a long string of pearls around the neck, the hem of the dress just below the knees. These girls smoked a lot, sometimes indulged in cocaine, did not limit themselves to alcohol, listened to absolutely scandalous, indecent music — jazz, approved of free love and even drove cars themselves!
The end of the First World War, the end of mass murder, Europe is tired of talking about politics and trenches, everyone wants to have fun — even if there is some kind of hysteria in this fun. The era of the "great Gatsby" is coming. And now they appear — girls a little under twenty who did not accompany the grooms and husbands to the front, did not wait for letters from loved ones, did not receive funerals. They were too young then. Yes, they know that there was a war recently and that their older sisters were crying, but their fathers did not return. So what of it? After all, it's already over, and it's really unbearable to see gloomy faces around.
These were the flappers, the rebellious girls who struggled with what was accepted in decent society, and first of all - with their Victorian mothers. They were able to retain the suffragists' hard-won right to vote for women, the right to work on an equal basis with men, receive money for it and live on it.
Let's start, perhaps, with the origin of the name itself. It came from the English word flap — "clap", "flutter" or "slap". There are several versions about which of the meanings formed the basis of the name of an entire generation of girls.
One version claims that a long time ago in Britain it was customary to wear galoshes in the rain. Everything is logical — this is how the shoes were protected from moisture. Our young flapper girls did not fasten these same galoshes. They liked to walk like that and squish water — hence the name "flappers".
A more beautiful story of the origin of the name broadcasts that the girls began to be called flappers, as they, like chicks or butterflies, flapped their wings, learning to fly, striving for freedom and independence. Which of the legends is true? Today, it seems to us, it is no longer so important.
The characteristic style of flappers' clothing was influenced by the rapidly developing new French fashion, especially Coco Chanel, as well as the growing popularity of jazz and jazz dance parties.
The Flapper ideal of beauty was associated with youth and energy, short haircuts, lean, boyish build, knee-length skirts were in fashion. In fashion — a woman-boy, la garçonne: flat chest, narrow hips, long arms and legs. She does sports, dances foxtrot and charleston, diets. The fashionable silhouette was called "trumpet" — because the clothes resembled a hoodie flowing from the shoulders to the knees, without any emphasis on the waist. It was very fashionable to bare your back to the last vertebra when going to a party.
Since now the dresses open the legs, the ladies begin to blush the knees. Stockings with drawings are becoming very fashionable. The most desperate fashionistas wear wristwatches on their ankles.
The most fashionable style of hats is called cloche — in French, "bell". In this hat, a woman's head literally sinks. Of course, the lady has an unusually mysterious appearance — after all, the forehead and eyes are often simply not visible; but, on the other hand, how then to look at the world around her? After all, you can fall into a puddle. And the ladies began to walk, throwing their heads back a lot. Soon this manner becomes a habit.
In the 20s, women thickly encircle black around the eyes and use dark red lipstick with exotic names like "bull's blood". Abundant makeup has, so to speak, a protest function. In fashion — as tiny a mouth as possible. The fashionable contour of the lips is called Cupid's bow: the curve of the upper lip resembles an undulating bow handle, and the lower lip resembles a stretched string.
The number of women who wanted to turn their lips into Cupid's bow was so great that in 1924 a special clothespin machine, the lip clip, was invented and even patented. The advertisement promises: if you wear it regularly, then the mouth will get the desired shape without surgery.
The flapper style was borrowed by quite respectable people — not only young girls, but also young women. And when the royals began to follow the new fashion, the process became irreversible.
Flappers have made a real revolution in the field of gender relations. They destroyed the established traditions prohibiting girls from being alone with a man without a chaperone, they believed in free love and equality of the sexes. It was the flappers who introduced the word "dating", that is, going on dates that do not necessarily imply marriage.
Alas, but everything comes to an end: the flapper lifestyle came to naught in 1929 with the onset of the Great Depression. Hard times began, during which there was no time for enjoying life and hedonism, which were so important for flappers. The guardians of morality said with bitter triumph that God's punishment fell on those who considered rebellion against traditions and mischievous fun to be the main thing in life.