FLAPPERS – Freewheeling love and the racy 1920’s

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When most of us think of sexual liberation or revolution, we usually consider the 1960’s and 70’s as the era of freewheeling love, drug taking and flouting social norms.
Yet, after World War I, society dramatically changed the social, political and economic landscape. Women in Britain got the right to vote in 1918 and women had worked during the war, (whilst the men were out fighting on the battle fields) enjoying freedoms unheard of in previous generations.
(1) The Flapper girl became the new ‘It’ girl.
(2) Flappers were a generation of young Western Women in the 1920’s who listened to jazz, bobbed their hair, danced the Charleston and generally flaunted the conventions and social mores of society.
(3) Spirits were high, Flappers wore short skirts defying the previous repression of the Victorian era. The 1920’s were a time of hedonism and social and sexual liberation.
(4) Flappers drank and smoked (and many also took drugs such as cocaine) and treated sex in a casual manner. Lesbian affairs amongst movie stars are well documented. The 1920’s was a period of free love and experimentation.
It’s interesting to note that the term “flapper” had its roots as early as 1631. By 1890 the word ‘flapper’ was used as slang for a very young prostitute and in a more general and less derogatory sense, it meant any lively teenage girl.
(5) The Jazz Age and Flappers had a huge influence on Hollywood as well as the rest of the world. Flappers lifestyle was the inspiration for many films and for the first-time movie audiences saw racy content which in turn encouraged that behaviour in general society. When the Great Depression hit in the late 1920’s, the economy crashed and with it went the hedonistic lifestyle associated with the Flappers and the period post World War I dissipated overnight.
Yet, the legendary era of the 1920’s and particularly the ground-breaking lifestyle of the Flappers lives on.
(2) Siennaasinclaire, “Jazz Age – The Decade of Sex in LA”https://naughtylifestyleguideblog.com/2017/09/30/jazz-age-the-decade-of-sex-in-la/ (accessed 13 April 2018)
Fenn, Violet, “Historical Sex – The Roaring Twenties, Flappers, Sex Manuals and Gay Liberation”https://metro.co.uk/2017/07/05/historical-sex-the-roaring-twenties-flappers-sex-manuals-and-gay-liberation-6701001/ (accessed 13 April 2018).
Kirkova, Deni and De Lacey, Martha. “The Great Gatsby Era, Flappers, Lesbian Affairs, Night Sex Cocaine Parties Revealed in New Book.” https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2323897/The-Great-Gatsby-era-flappers-lesbian-affairs-night-sex-cocaine-parties-revealed-new-book.html (accessed 13 April 2018).
(1) (3)Wikipedia contributors, “Flapper,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Flapper&oldid=834091568 (accessed April 12, 2018).
PHOTO COURTESTY OF: https://pinuptaniafonseca.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/how-to-be-1920s-flapper.html