For flapper aficionados, such as myself, the word is often misunderstood. There’s only one place it’s used: the 1920s to the 1960s and 1970s. This is because the actual name for flapper clothes—the word “flapper” was a French word applied to a group of women wearing headscarves that could be loosely worn over anything, from dresses to petticoats. So, the term flapper clothes is often applied to the era of that time, which in other parts of the world would be referred to as the 19th century. Here in the US, the word had a different meaning in the 1920s and 1930s. “Flapper style” was associated with wearing long, elaborate gowns and long skirts that often reached halfway up to their shoulders. In the 1930s, the flapper style became associated with women (mostly white women) who were the targets of sexist and often racist ridicule. For example, a New York Times article of 1933 stated, “We are dealing with something akin to an English woman’s first period—in the first six months of life.” In order to “come out” as a flapper, it was important for an individual to have the looks that were admired and loved by the time that flapper style began its decline.
The rise of the hippie movement in the 1960s and 1970s had a similar affect. “Hippie style” is a term used to describe the style of attire of the “cool kids” of the age, but “flapper” in fact started to be applied in reference to groups of mostly white women (who tended to be called “chicks” back then) who wore headscarves and looked very much like the women in the 1920s and 1930s.
If you’re thinking that these labels are simply a way of describing a style of women dressing in unusual outfits, you’re right. But these labels didn’t originally mean what they did until the 1970s, when people started to understand that women who dressed in this fashion were the ones being called “flamingos.” It started to become more common to refer to the flapper style in terms that weren’t specific to any particular style of women.
The history of the terms “flamingom.” and “pompom.”
In 1856, the French artist Auguste Rodin introduced the “flamingom,” a type of sculpture that he called “The Girl With the Long Hair
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