BTW, I recall someone writing that, if we could go back to the time before WW1 we would find ourselves in an alien world where we would understand almost nothing about the mores and manners, or how people communicated with or related to each other. Call it Gatsby Fever if you like, but there's no stopping it these days -- from the lavish theme parties to the art deco weddings to themed dinner soirees, our interest in the Roaring '20s is reaching full-blown-obsession status.
But what was life really like for young people in the '20s, the decade that ushered in years of sustained economic growth (up until the last year, anyway), the women's liberation movement, Amelia Earhart and the birth of dating? In 1919, Prohibition began with the passage of the 18th Amendment, and lasted until its repeal in 1933.
The rise of women's suffrage had a -- not surprisingly -- significant impact on women of all ages. First Miss America Pageant winner Margaret Gorman in a Birmingham Motors automobile in 1921. In case their readers were confused, the helpful folk at The Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner published 13 qualities one could use to identify a flapper, should she be spotted in the wild. Photo and description of a flapper in the August 2, 1922 edition of the Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner.
An ad from the November 1922 Ladies Home Journal espousing the "melody method of reducing," -- known today as losing weight by dancing.
Although not a traditional wedding dress, the bride is clearly wearing quite a special dress.


Yes, we have those fabulous flappers to thank for modern-day first dates, missed calls, and mixed signals. With so many people hungering for the return of the Classic Date style of night on the town with your sweetie, I wonder why it doesn’t happen more often. If we went back to the Twenties, though, we would find people who were very much like ourselves, with a modern outlook we would recognize. Use of the web site constitues acceptance of the Defy Media Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. As anyone who's ever watched a '20s movie knows, this in no way stopped young people from drinking. By moving into the public arena, women at last found a forum to battle their rigid domestic roles, and paved the way for independence and equality. Inspired by the newly-popular fashions in Paris (spearheaded by the rising star Coco Chanel), American women shed their corsets and floor-length gowns.
Some parents nearly exploded with outrage over whose fault it was that their well-brought-up daughters were leaving home, dressing provocatively and acting so unladylike.
They flapped to the theater, they flapped to the restaurant and, most often, they flapped to the dance hall and lindy-hopped to the latest jazz numbers.
The first world war was over, and the action — and moonshine — was brewing in illicit night clubs.


Young couples snuck off to underground speakeasys and both women and men carried concealed flasks, filled to fuel the night's escapades.
For young women, the concept of a life focused on individual pursuits (rather than simply "get married and start having babies") meant a whole new culture of freedom to go out and enjoy themselves, just for the sake of it.
Despite the brutal hardship of the next few years, couples still found ways to escape the drudgery of the time -- once dating started, it couldn't be stopped. Small town girls and country boys flocked to the city, where the drinks were flowing and the women were wild.
Couples finally had a way to head off on unchaperoned dates, plus they had a private space to snuggle up close at the end of the night. Let the mothers stay at home, then they would find that their daughters would come flapping home, flap into an apron and spend their out-of-school hours in a thoroughly wholesome way.



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