Dangerous Girls, 1920s
Girls took the styles they saw on movie screens and made them their own.
Girls' fashion choices upset many cultural authorities. Journalists, religious leaders, and others warned of the dangers posed by modern girls.
They made new gender-bending ideas—such as bobbing their hair—popular. Americans have forgotten that cutting one's hair was a radical move; short hair upended ideas about female respectability.
See Girlhood in 3D! Explore a model of the evening dress.
Movies provided style icons that girls copied, adapted, and used to refashion themselves. Some stars bobbed their hair and wore pants. Girls copied and spread their boyish fashions, upsetting parents and authorities.
When it came to remixing, girls in the 1920s borrowed ideas from magazines, advertising, and music. In turn, the fashion industry watched girls for new styles.
Sleek flapper fashions emphasized bare arms and legs. Many young women began shaving.
Summer dress and Modern Dancing combine to make necessary the removal of objectionable hair.
Modern girls wrote to local newspapers explaining why they changed modest clothing for bold designs, demure ideas for more adventurous personas.