The most famous flappers of American history are probably those who did not appear on any kind of postage stamp or newspaper obituary. Those who lived a little longer may have earned enough money to be immortalized in a plaque or on a tombstone, but they did not, in fact, appear in the press.
There were no real celebrity flappers to speak of in the United States. There were the stars — Helen Hunt, Sarah Bernhardt — who did appear in music videos or in photographs, but they were not widely publicized. They are probably the least-celebrated of the popular American flappers of the 1920s. They were a small minority with an equally small following, and they were the most likely to be portrayed in the press as unpatriotic or even unappetizing.
A flapper’s life often revolved around a marriage
When women went out as flappers, they did so to make a living and keep the family’s finances healthy. The vast majority of flappers had husbands or boyfriends living at the time they were young teenagers. The man would often work as a flapper’s attendant and do odd jobs to support the family — and even pay for some of the flapper’s wardrobe. This allowed the family to live an easy life in contrast to the Depression-era conditions in a big city.
When the flapper lifestyle ended, the girls often returned home to live with their families with the hopes of one day marrying a better-paying job or working in the service industry.
That was far from the case for the most famous of the flappers. Some stayed with their husbands, others went out on their own to find steady work. Some remained single throughout their lives, while others became pregnant several times. But despite all their varied ways of earning a living, most were married and raising a child or two during their adult lives.
Most flappers had one partner and a child at a time. By their early twenties, the woman usually had her own place at home and a family of her own, although some flappers left home after college and moved to the South or Southwest.
Fashion in the 1920s changed
Not everyone’s lives were bound to be tied to a specific style of dress or hairstyle. Some women decided not to dress as a flapper after the late 19th century and started to wear hats and other accessories that reflected their business or profession. Fashion changed, too.
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