Thursday, May 11, 2006

History - What is a Flapper, anyway?


We at Modern Flapper fell in love with silent movies early in the game, but it took us a while to be exposed to the beauty that was Louise Brooks. When we finally saw her in Diary of a Lost Girl and Pandora's Box, her hair cut short and her mouth adorable, we fell in love. We also adored the charming drawings of John Held, Jr., which showed 'flaming youth' enjoying themselves and drinking beverages of dubious vintage. Most importantly, we were exposed to stories of the Harlem Renaissance, a period in African-American history that was chock-full of Flappers.

What is a Flapper? A Flapper is the kind of woman who enjoys herself. She is sexy and carefree, but not whorish; she knows how to have a good time without making a fool of herself. She can suffer though adversity so long as she has a tube of lipstick and an eyebrow pencil to accentuate her natural beauty. She can and often is collegiate and brainy. Margaret Mead was actually a Flapper. So was Marlene Dietrich. So was the incomparable Josephine Baker. While Flappers are thought to have died out at the end of the Jazz Age, we at Modern Flapper feel that they never truly went away. Every time a woman calls herself a feminist, dresses and loves as she pleases, and loves learning as much as good music, another Flapper is born.

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