In the 1920s, a new woman was born. She smoked, drank, danced, and voted. She cut her hair, wore make-up, and went to petting parties. She was giddy and took risks. She was a flapper. The "Younger Generation"
Before the start of World War I, the Gibson Girl was the rage. Inspired by Charles Dana Gibson's drawings, the Gibson Girl wore her long hair loosely on top of her head and wore a long straight skirt and a shirt with a high collar. She was feminine but also broke through several gender barriers for her attire allowed her to participate in sports, including golf, roller skating, and bicycling. During the second war, both the boys and the girls of this generation had broken out of society's structure; they found it very difficult to return. They found themselves expected to settle down into the humdrum routine of American life as if nothing had happened, to accept the moral dicta of elders. Nearly a whole generation of young men had died in the war, leaving nearly a whole generation of young women without possible suitors. Young women decided that they were not willing to waste away their young lives waiting idly for spinsterhood; they were going to enjoy life. The "Younger Generation" was breaking away from the old set of values. The "Flapper"
The term "flapper" first appeared in Great Britain after World War I. It was there used to describe young girls, still somewhat awkward in movement who had not yet entered womanhood. In the June 1922 edition of the Atlantic Monthly, G. Stanley Hall described looking in a dictionary to discover what the evasive term "flapper" meant: [T]he dictionary set me right by defining the word as a fledgling, yet in the nest, and vainly attempting to fly while its wings have only pinfeathers; and I recognized that the genius of 'slanguage' had made the squab the symbol of budding girlhood.3 Authors such F. Scott Fitzgerald and artists such as John Held Jr. first used the term to the U.S., half reflecting and half creating...
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