You can’t get much further than this. And because of the way we speak about women, the meaning can be so different.
For the most part, we consider women who are not out or are not too young to be the ideal woman. It’s the classic “tribal” thing: the “unattractive and immature, too young to be having sex with anyone” and the “shemale” and the “sexy tomboy” (as one woman put it). I don’t think you could find a more attractive person who’s under 30 than that. It’s hard not to imagine a younger person doing most of those things, but I’m sure they’re not all the women on this show.
And the more you see women in the limelight, the more likely you are to think of them—particularly as “attractive” ones—”as the type of woman who looks like a flapper. This is part of the reason why so many women have trouble getting out and meeting new men. They look like flappers.”
In a new article for New York magazine, Jessica Valenti argues that the “flamboyant” label is hurting flappers’ ability to succeed: “They have the same amount of pressure on their shoulders. They are constantly bombarded with this message of being ‘cool and sophisticated,'” she writes. “That’s an old-fashioned model of womanhood. It’s also a model used to keep girls in their place, of giving them a status they would struggle to acquire if they tried—something that could only happen if they were young—and not let them grow into themselves, because the world and their surroundings weren’t quite ready for them.”
If you’re reading this, you might be like that woman who tried and failed to get a job or get out, thinking she had to be the flapper. It’s easy just to think of them as this kind of person, as if you could never possibly be anything else. But of course you don’t. You’re a human being (and a feminist too, maybe) and you’re not supposed to be flamboyant.
Women are flamboyant in our culture in other ways too. Just check out any Instagram photo of the latest celebrity or football star you see. The camera almost never goes anywhere near them, but their looks speak volumes: They’re on their period. They’re so beautiful or so cool you can’t help but stare.
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