Self-proclaimed Mr 1920s, F Scott Fitzgerald popularized the phrase Flapper in his first book of short stories “Flappers and Philosophers”. These stories are an examination of the lives and morality of post-World War I youth, with tales like “Bernice Bobs Her Hair,” telling the scandalous story of a young socialite who has her hair cut into the infamous Bob.
The dictionary defines a Flapper as “a young woman, especially one who, during the 1920s, behaved and dressed in a boldly unconventional manner”. Flappers were liberated young women who threw away the shackles of their corsets ,the value systems of their Victorian and Edwardian parents and had a damn good time.
These carefree ladies voted, smoked, drank their way through prohibition, drove fast and danced all night to Jazz. Speak-easies were full of fast-talking flappers who used a lot of slang. “Zozzled” was drunk, “Rubbes” money and “putting on the ritz” was doing something in style.
“Jazz” wasn’t just music , it was also anything that was fun and exciting. If they liked something it was the “bee’s knees”, “the cat’s meow”,“spiffy” or “swell”. Their nose was their “smeller”, their legs were their “gams” and their mouth was their “kisser”.
Their hair was finger-waved or in slick bobs. Their makeup, which they shamelessly re-applied in public, was always heavy and sultry. Thin slopped eyebrows, heavily lined eyes and cupid bow lips were all the rage.