Flappers In The 1920's

1176 Words5 Pages
The flapper represented the “modern woman” in American youth culture in the 1920’s, and was epitomized as an icon of rebellion and modernity. Precocious, young, stubborn, beautiful, sexual, and independent, the flapper image and ideology revolutionized girlhood. The term “flapper” originated in England to describe a girl who flapped and had not yet reached maturity. Middle-class, white, adolescent girls embraced the symbol of the flapper and the development of change and innovation. It is important to note not all young women embraced the flapper’s rebellious movement and adhered to traditional pre-World War I morals and values. Young women who joined the flapper movement would no longer abide by pre-conceived conventional expectations…show more content…
The rejection of tradition shocked adults and a moral panic ensued. The reaction older, more modest generations had to the flapper perpetuated the youth movement making it more powerful and purposeful. Adult perspectives viewed the flappers as immoral, indecent and an ill on society. This in turn challenged adults to consider their own ideas about youth and childhood innocence. Flappers of the 1920’s revolutionized youth culture by challenging societal perceptions of femininity, sociological ideas, and conventional concepts of women’s roles within society.
This paper will be developed in four stages. The first stage will evaluate why the flapper rebellion began. The second stage will examine the specific fashion, behavior, and ideals the flappers used to challenge societal expectations of girlhood. The third stage will construct the specific experiences the adolescent flappers endured. Finally, the fourth stage will examine how adult perceptions about adolescence shaped the societal reactions to the
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Freedom was equated to sexual promiscuity and embracing one’s sexual self. No longer would young women feel constrained to reject pre-marital sex. Rather during the 1920’s “necking” and “petting” were terms used to describe the new definition of courtship. Young women embraced their new found sexuality. This “new order” of culture, “reflected indulgence, and an emphasis on immediate gratification, often in the form of sex and other bodily pleasures.” Sexual experiences combined with sexual promiscuity liberated young women to own their own bodies and to reject shame for doing so. Young women flaunted their new found sexuality by the specific clothing they chose to represent the flapper
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