Don't just think of flappers as loose women of the 1920s who danced the Charleston, smoked cigarettes and drove automobiles or motorcycles. Here is the page entitled "Flapper Humor" at theroaringroad.com
But being a flapper was much more than dancing, it was considered a lifestyle. They even had their own magazines! It came about because women had more freedom than ever before. The 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920 and it gave women the right to vote. Combine that with the mostly prosperous Roaring Twenties, and we see rebellious women raise up their skirts, roll down their stockings and take control of their own lives. A main theme of The Roaring Road
novel is watching Laure, the female lead played by the infamous Sweetie as as she takes complete control over her own life and in the process makes other people think about their lives. Especially when she takes the wheel of the prototype supercharged Duesenberg Model X dual-cowl phaeton - you just can't keep that girl out of the drivers seat of a powerful automobile. Better yet, she dances a mean Charleston. Because of their similarity in appearance along with a role as a dancer at Gatsby's parties in the movie The Great Gatsby
(the first movie, made in 1926 which is lost except for a few short clips) and a crazy prank played at a Hollywood party, becomes known as the long lost older sister of Louise Brooks. As we see, the influence Louise has on her "sister" is considerable. Louise is well known as being an independent woman and Laure tries out some new ideas. In researching for the book I came across these stories, poems and anecdotes about flappers and I present them for your approbation on the page titled "Flapper Humor". Oh, and just for the record, Laure doesn't smoke cigarettes. She was too independent to follow the entire flapper movement.
A Flapper's Appeal To Parents:
I want to beg all you parents, and grandparents, and friends, and teachers, and preachers--you who constitute the "older generation"--to overlook our shortcomings, at least for the present, and to appreciate our virtues. I wonder if it ever occurred to any of you that it required brains to become and remain a successful flapper? Indeed it does! It requires an enormous amount of cleverness and energy to keep going at the proper pace. It requires self-knowledge and self-analysis. We must know our capabilities and limitations. We must be constantly on the alert. Attainment of flapperhood is a big and serious undertaking!
Ellen Welles Page in Outlook magazine, December 6, 1922
If Mermaids Were Flappers
Flappers of the sea,
Cute as can be,
You're in proper form
Beach hounds will agree.
Any way you're dressed
You will meet the test;
On the shore you're great,
But in the brine you're best.
The Flapper magazine, 1922
A Sad Fate
How sad was the fate of a girl and her sheik,
He drove with one arm while they rode cheek to cheek,
Till one night a bee sat right down on his hand,
And the sheik and his flapper departed this land.
Frisco Railroad Employees magazine, July 1925
The Flapper by Dorothy Parker
The playful flapper here we see,
The fairest of the fair
She's not what Grandma used to be,
You might say, au contraire.
Her girlish ways may make a stir,
Her manners cause a scene,
But there is no more harm in her
Than in a submarine.
She nightly knocks for many a goal
The usual dancing men.
Her speed is great, but her control
Is something else again.
All spotlights focus on her pranks.
All tongues her prowess herald.
For which she well may render thanks
To God and Scott Fitzgerald.
Her golden rule is plain enough -
Just get them young and treat them rough.
Why I Want Higher Tariffs
With a higher tariff scheduled for dress goods there will be nobody to blame but the Republicans if the girls have to shorten their skirts again."
The Southern Lumberman, as reported in 'The Flapper' magazine, Oct. 1922
Dinner For Three
Joe: "Have you ever been held up?"
Moe: "I''ll say. I took two chorus girls out to dinner last night."
Poor Horace McFlinn
Uncover your head for poor Horace McFlinn,
He had plenty of fun in a flivver of tin,
Until the sad morning that you may recall,
His fliv tried to battle a train - AND THAT'S ALL!
The Flapper's Lament
If the skirts get much shorter
Said the flapper with a sob
There will be two more cheeks to powder
And one more place to bob!
"It's funny" says Jane Flapper, "that just when women's clothes are getting scanty, men's should be going the other way. Look at the Oxford trousers - as though a man had been caught by the ankles in a flannel quicksand."
From Hedy [Not Hedley] Lamarr
Any girl can be glamorous.
All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.
A Beach Romance
Two flappers at Jersey went out for a flop,
But met the beach censor, who told them to stop;
"Your costumes are shocking to decent folk here;
Go back to your rooms, stay away from the pier."
They went to dance in their costumes so shocking,
With never a petticoat, never a stocking;
And nobody cared, not the tiniest bit--
They won the first favor by making a hit.
The mosquito vote is solidly against a return of long skirts.
The Flapper, Oct. 1922
Wait A Minute
When a flapper says "In a minute"
Her words carry 'wait'.
Boy: "What makes the moon shine, mother?"
Mother: "Your father."