The 1920’s or the Jazz age has always fascinated me. So much happened, so quickly to change the world. One of the things that happened was the birth of the Flapper. The Flapper embraced all things new and modern. Out with the Victorian rules, and in with the modern, young, and the carefree. WW I birthed the flapper and the flapper ways. Many came back from the war disillusioned. When they returned from the war the old world order crammed their style.
The flapper cuts her hair short, the hem lines come up, they use make up, they experiment with sex, alcohol, drugs, and they danced the night away. It was a rebellion of sorts and once the flapper came out, there was no turning back.
One of the interesting things the Flapper did was to encourage the flat-chested look in women. Understand that Victorian women were robust, they were aging by this point, and the clothing and look of the flapper was out their reach.Everyone in the 1920’s wanted to have that slender flat-chested, tanned body and face of a 15-year-old. Women rushed to the beauty salons, health clubs, anybody that could help them achieve “the look.” You can imagine how hard it was for the aging Victorian women who were used to wearing the boring matronly dresses. Leaders of fashion had to change and change quick because the Flapper was all the rage.
Now if you were naturally flat-chested, you did ok, but what if you weren’t? Bras at the time were more like bodices or camisoles, they offered no support. This wasn’t going to work for the top heavy gals. The top heavy girls resorted to bandaging their breasts flat. Others would purchase a bra made at the time called Symington Side Lacer, basically a bra that laced at both sides and when pulled would flatten the chest. Women looking like boys was a fashion statement. My how things have changed huh?
Many believe that the women’s movement and the sexual revolution started back in the 60’s, I disagree, it started in the 20’s. The Flapper gave up the restricting clothing way before the liberated women burned their bras. The Women’s suffrage movement was in full swing, and women gave up a lot of the inhibitions imposed on them by society. I can’t say that all was for the good. Some good came out of this, and some bad too. But I suppose it comes with the territory.