Fashion, Pop Culture, and Gender

During the 1920s, American culture became increasingly centered on mass media (including records, radio, and movies) and mass consumption (devices to play records and listen to radio, fashionable clothes, and a more expensive, more extensive selection of automobiles).

Part of this mass consumption and media involved advertisers specifically targeting young people. Some young women, who wore the latest styles and were stereotyped as smoking heavily, drinking bootleg alcohol and engaging in sexual behavior.

The article linked below, from a 1922 issue of Outlook magazine, explores the differences between the stereotype and reality of life for young women during this decade.

A Flapper’s Appeal to Parents (PDF)

Questions to consider:

  1. Briefly, what is the author’s “appeal” to parents? What should they do to relate to their children?
  2. According to the author, how does the reality of young women’s lives differ from the stereotype?
  3. How did the War affect youth, according to the author?