"She's not what Grandma used to be." Dorothy Parker comments on the flappers of the 1920's in a way that shows historians and the citizens of America how different the people of the 1920's were from the older generation of Americans. Flappers were the beginning of the changes in society that led to the modern day culture. Flappers were a major sign of the cultural times in the 1920's. Flappers inherited their name from the tendency of younger women in the late 1910's and early 1920's to leave their galoshes untied, which would make a "flapping" noise as they walked. In the 1920's, the term "flappers" meant young women of the 1920's who defied traditional ideas of proper dress and behavior. Flappers shocked society entirely with their cropped haircuts, raised hemlines, makeup, cigarette using, alcoholism, and attendance at multiple night clubs. Rebellious women found the dress of flappers to be particularly popular in that era. The flapper represented a lifestyle of independence and freedom, thus rebellious women grasped the principles of being a flapper very willingly. Flappers represented some of the most important cultural shifts in American society, but not all women in the 1920's were flappers.
In towns and rural areas in the United States, the common woman would only read about flappers in magazines and newspapers. Flappers were uncommon in towns and rural areas; they were found mainly in urban cities. Most women in rural areas highly disapproved of the flappers. Others were not flappers because they didn't wish to be as bold or reckless as flappers were. Women's rights activists were some of the many women that disapproved of flappers. They would claim that flappers were more concerned with having fun versus gaining further rights for women. So, although flappers were important to cultural shifts in the U.S., not every woman in America was a flapper, and not every woman approved of them. Much to the happiness of the disapproving women, the style of the flapper started to disintegrate in 1928. The flapper style was replaced with a more subtle and polished style. Nevertheless, without the flapper, America wouldn't have had the cultural advances that it has had.
"The Flapper- A 1920's Phenomenon." 2005. Web. 12 May 2010. http://www.1920-30.com/fashion/flapper.html.