How Did Flappers Changed Society

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Known for its fast paced lifestyle, experimentation, and break in traditions, the ‘Roaring Twenties’ produced ideals and technology that changed America forever. One of the many prominent features of the early 20th century was the emergence of the “flapper,” women who deviated from the traditional Victorian female standards at the time. These women often bobbed their hair, wore short dresses and skirts, and took on many characteristics that had only been deemed appropriate for men. The passing of the 19th Amendment in 1920 granted women the right to vote, allowing them a direct interaction with politics for the first time. To highlight their independence, women also began taking jobs in the workforce as well as attending college. However, …show more content…
Girls who followed the flapper lifestyle began to publicly drink, smoke, and dance. The most radical change was the shift in sexuality and relationships. Unlike the past, women began taking charge of their own sexuality. Prior to the era, women were expected to live moral lives, staying abstinent until marriage. However, the deaths of approximately 126,00 men during World War I left many women in fear that they wouldn’t marry and would die a spinster. Similarly, a new appreciation for life spread amongst many individuals, coaxing them to take their lives into their own hands. Flappers liberated themselves by openly flaunting their sexuality, no longer content with suppressing their sexual impulses. Women began taking lovers and discussions about sex were no longer disguised. Part of this movement has often been related to one of Sigmund Freud’s theories of psychoanalysis. Freud believed that all individuals are born with a sexual urge that morphs as they advance through life. He believed that self-expression, including through sex, led to happiness in individuals. While Freud did not intend for his theories to invoke rebellion, many used them to justify their actions. Not only did women partake in pre-martial sexual encounters, they also grew away from the standards of traditional family life. One of the biggest parts of this was a rise in the number of divorces. No longer would women put up with marriages …show more content…
Victorian fashion was very conservative and restrictive. The era of the 1920s have been given many names, the era often referred to as “The Jazz Age.” Jazz became the anthem of the era, and girls began to dance. However, the fashion from previous eras was hot, heavy, and restricted movement. Girls began wearing short skirts and dresses, often revealing their knees, shoulders, and arms: parts of the body that had been taboo to reveal before. This decrease in clothing allowed them the freedom to move about flexibly, liberating them from the restrictive clothing they were expected to wear. Short, bob haircuts often symbolized the independent era of women in the 1920s. Girls began cutting off their long locks, a universal symbol of femininity, in order to sport boyish new hairstyles. The general fashion of flappers seemed to evolve into more masculine style altogether. Colleen Moore, a well-known movie star in the 1920s, described the fashion. She stated that, “1920 's Fashion represented modernism and women who were determined to free themselves of the shackles of the Victorian era.” Though it may not be apparent, the way one dresses is often a direct reflection of their social identity. By liberating themselves in order to dress how they wanted, women unlocked self confidence that had been repressed inside

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