Celebrating the Flapper Era and the Freedom It Brought

I recently watched The Great Gatsby, and felt the same way about it as I felt about the book (which I never finished): Rich people’s problemszzzzzzz. HOWEVER! So stylish! And an important era for women, one that’s explored in the Smithsonian’s series The History of the Flapper.

Writes Emily Spivack:

[F]reedoms experienced from working outside the home, a push for equal rights, greater mobility, technological innovation and disposable income … exposed people to new places, ideas and ways of living. Particularly for women, personal fulfillment and independence became priorities — a more modern, carefree spirit where anything seemed possible.

The embodiment of that 1920s free spirit was the flapper, who was viewed disdainfully by an older generation as wild, boisterous and disgraceful. While this older generation was clucking its tongue, the younger one was busy reinventing itself, and creating the flapper lifestyle we now know today.

The changes and freedoms women were desirous of as a result of having worked during World War 1, being given the vote, etc, were reflected in the changes and freedoms they were presenting through fashion and beauty. The series, a four-parter, is a long read, but worth it.

Photo source Warner Bros.