The flappers are our personal favorite phenomenon of the “Roaring Twenties”. These fearless and open minded women confronted the conservative society in the most powerful and effective way: ” They just didn’t care what people think”
The list below sums up the most influential and iconic women that served as a role models for the young flappers in the 20’s
Check them out:
After a short but notable career as a stage actress in the late 1920s, she made 85 films in 38 years in Hollywood, before turning to television.
Orphaned at the age of four and partially raised in foster homes, by 1944 Barbara Stanwyck had become the highest-paid woman in the United States. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress four times, forStella Dallas (1937), Ball of Fire (1941), Double Indemnity (1944) and Sorry, Wrong Number (1948).
For her television work, she won three Emmy Awards, for The Barbara Stanwyck Show (1961), The Big Valley (1966) and The Thorn Birds (1983).
Coco Chanel had a brief career on stage in the early 20th century, but she made a revolution in the fashion of the 1920s when she launched her “little black dress.” The loose, short dress allowed flappers the freedom of movement to dance the night away.
Colleen More began her career during the silent film era. She became one of the most fashionable stars of the era and helped popularize the bobbed haircut. After her film career she became a partner in the investment firm Merrill Lynch.
From a conflicted and unhappy childhood, Parker rose to acclaim, both for her literary output in publications such as The New Yorker and as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. Following the breakup of the circle, Parker traveled to Hollywood to pursue screenwriting.
Her successes there, including two Academy Award nominations, were curtailed when her involvement in left-wing politics led to a place on the Hollywood blacklist.
Edna Purviance is well known as Chaplin’s leading lady, as she appeared in many of his films. Chaplin and Purviance were romantically involved during the making of his Essanay, Mutual, and First National films of 1915 to 1917. Purviance appeared in 33 of Chaplin’s productions, including the 1921 classic The Kid.
Her last film with him, A Woman of Paris, was also her first lead role. The film was not a success and effectively ended Purviance’s career. She went on to appear in two more films: The Sea Gull, also known as A Woman of the Sea.Chaplin kept her on his payroll until her death in 1958.
Gray was not the first to dance the shimmy, but she sure popularized it nationwide in the 20s. Her desire to continue her burgeoning career (she used the professional name Mary Gray for a while) and her faltering relationship with her husband prompted her to relocate to Chicago where she was noticed by a talent agent, Frank Westphal, who took her to New York and introduced her to his wife, singer Sophie Tucker.
It was Tucker who prompted her to change her first name to Gilda, a reference to her golden hair. By 1919, she was appearing in a J.J. Shubert show, The Gaieties of 1919. By 1920, Gilda had found a new manager, Gaillard T. “Gil” Boag (d. 1959). After being seen by Florenz Ziegfeld, she appeared in the 1922 Ziegfeld Follies where she was enormously popular with the public.
4. Josephine Baker
Her street-corner dancing attracted attention, and she was recruited for the St. Louis Chorus vaudeville show at the age of 15. She headed to New York City during the Harlem Renaissance, performing at the Plantation Club and in the chorus of the groundbreaking and hugely successful Broadway revues Shuffle Along (1921) with Adelaide Hall and The Chocolate Dandies (1924).
She performed as the last dancer in a chorus line. Traditionally the dancer in this position performed in a comic manner, as if she were unable to remember the dance, until the encore, at which point she would perform it not only correctly but with additional complexity. Baker was billed at the time as “the highest-paid chorus girl in vaudeville”
Baker’s career began with her doing black face comedy at local clubs, this was the “entertainment” that her mother did not approve of. Black face performances landed Baker an opportunity to tour in Paris (France), which would become the place she called home until her final days.
3. Norma Talmadge
Norma Talmadge was an American actress and film producer of the silent era. A major box office draw for more than a decade, her career reached a peak in the early 1920s, when she ranked among the most popular idols of the American screen.
2. Zelda Fitzgerald
Zelda was the inspiration, the love of his life and the main reason for all of F. Scott Fitzgerald. troubles. Known for her notorious urge for partying made her popular outside the literary world, her husband dubbed her “the first American Flapper.”
1. Clara Bow
Clara Bow was an American actress who rose to stardom in silent film during the 1920s. It was her appearance as a plucky shopgirl in the film It that brought her global fame and the nickname “The It Girl”.Bow came to personify the Roaring Twenties and is described as its leading sex symbol.
She appeared in 46 silent films and 11 talkies, including hits such as Mantrap (1926), It (1927) and Wings (1927). She was named first box-office draw in 1928 and 1929 and second box-office draw in 1927 and 1930.
Her presence in a motion picture was said to have ensured investors, by odds of almost 2-to-1, a “safe return”.At the apex of her stardom, she received more than 45,000 fan letters in a single month (January 1929)