She was an icon…a very powerful symbol in American culture.”
The flapper girl was a woman who dressed like a man, often in tight dresses, but with a woman’s head and eyes. She was an emblem of sexual liberation, a symbol of feminism and a symbol of the sexual revolution.
One of the first flappers, she began to dress as a man in the 1890s. She gained popularity while married to a Jewish man, and her marriage became the subject of much controversy.
“In a town not accustomed to any woman wearing a man’s hat, they saw it … as a novelty, and some of the women thought there was more to her than was merely physical,” said author and historian Stephen J. Smith.
The story of “a white man with red hair” has become one of the most famous myths about the 18th century. A newspaper advertisement for the new, short-tailed flapper, who was wearing men’s hats and man’s shoes, went viral.
But, there was more to the story of this American icon than meets the eye.
The tale is full of myths. In fact, many in the American tradition say there was only one flapper, and her name was Elizabeth Taylor.
“Many Americans may assume there is an Elizabeth Taylor flapper,” Smith said, “but in fact it’s a legend.”
‘She was the first one’
Elizabeth Taylor’s life has always been a story of contradictions.
While other American women dressed like men, she dressed like a woman — a flapper. And she was one of the most popular women of her day.
Before marrying her husband, Louis Victor Taylor, she moved frequently from town to town, working as a dance instructor and in the garment business.
“There were rumors that she had sex with every man she met,” said Lizzie Williams, author of The Flapper Lady’s Golden Century: Elizabeth Taylor, the First Female Fashion Icon.
But Elizabeth Taylor’s real “adventures” were in business. “I think the most incredible thing happened to her, was the publication of a book,” said Susan Mather, a professor of history at Purdue University. “Taylor’s book, The Flapper Lady’s Golden Century, sold 3 million copies.”
“She wasn’t the first to be a fashion icon,” Williams added. “There was a flapper on the cover of Life magazine in 1929. There have been a