Tag Archives: flapper

Vintage 101: Who are these girls called…”flappers”?

Flappers were a “new breed” of young Western women in the 1920s who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair, listened to jazz, and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior. Flappers were seen as brash for wearing excessive makeup, drinking, treating sex in a casual manner, smoking, driving automobiles, and otherwise flouting social and sexual norms.[1] Flappers had their origins in the liberal period of the Roaring Twenties, the social, political turbulence and increased transatlantic cultural exchange that followed the end of World War I, as well as the export of American jazz culture to Europe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flapper

OH MY!

The slang word flapper, describing a young woman, is sometimes supposed to refer to a young bird flapping its wings while learning to fly. However, it may derive from an earlier use in northern England to mean teenage girl, referring to one whose hair is not yet put up and whose plaited pigtail flapped on her back;[2] or from an older word meaning prostitute.[3]

The slang word “flap” is known to have been used for a young prostitute as early as 1631.[4] By the 1890s the word “flapper” was emerging in England as popular slang both for a very young prostitute,[5][6] and in a more general – and less derogatory sense – of any lively mid-teenage girl.[7]

In the 1920s, however, many Americans found the flapper incredibly threatening. Flappers represented a new moral order.  Although they were the daughters of the middle class, they flouted middle-class values.   They shrugged off their chaperones.  Worse still, they danced suggestively and openly flirted with boys.  Flappers prized style over substance, novelty over tradition, and pleasure over virtue.

 


Movie review – Lonely Wives (1931)

This pre-code film had me LOL over their risqué behavior and lame double standards!! It was still a very enjoyable and unbelievable film!!

Edward Everett Horton plays Richard “Dickie” Smith, a respectable defense lawyer, who turns into a Don Juan, when the clock strikes 8 o’clock, in this Pre Code comedy.

To fool his mother-in-law Mrs. Mantel, (Maude Eburne), he hires famous vaudeville impersonator Felix, the Great Zero, (also played by Edward Everett Horton, in a double role), to stay at the house.

While he goes out on the town, with his new, sultry secretary Kitty “Minty” Minter Patsy Ruth Miller, and, his new client, Diane O’Dare Laura La Plante, who wishes to divorce her husband for neglect. She is unaware that her husband, who is Felix, the Great Zero.

When Madeline Smith, Richard’s wife (Esther Ralston), returns early from her trip, Felix knows that the jig is up; or, is it.

It’s a question of who’s fooling who. Zero, angry at being played for a patsy by Smith, arranges for the maid to make a pass at Smith, who thinks Zero is Smith himself. After a series of events, Smith ends up chasing Zero with a loaded gun.

Meanwhile, Andrews, the Butler, (Spencer Charters), thinks he must have the DT’s, seeing double of everyone.

They know they’ll reform their ways, if any of them survive the night.

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