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Flappers had their origins in the liberal period of the Roaring Twenties, the social, political turbulence and increased transatlantic cultural exchange that followed the end of World War I, as well as the export of American jazz culture to Europe.The slang word "flapper", describing a young woman, is sometimes supposed to refer to a young bird flapping its wings while learning to fly.The secretary of labor denounced the "flippancy of the cigarette smoking, cocktail-drinking flapper".Another writer, Lynne Frame, said in her book that a large number of scientists and health professionals have analyzed and reviewed the degree of femininity of flappers’ appearance and behavior, given the "boyishness" of the flapper look and behavior.World War I reduced the grip of the class system on both sides of the Atlantic, encouraging different classes to mingle and share their sense of freedom.
Flappers were seen as brash for wearing excessive makeup, drinking, treating sex in a casual manner, smoking, driving automobiles, and otherwise flouting social and sexual norms.
By that time, the term had taken on the full meaning of the flapper generation style and attitudes.
The use of the term coincided with a fashion among teenage girls in the United States in the early 1920s for wearing unbuckled galoshes, and a widespread false etymology held that they were called "flappers" because they flapped when they walked, as they wore their overshoes or galoshes unfastened, showing that they defied convention in a manner similar to the 21st century fad for untied shoelaces.
In 1936 a Times journalist grouped it with terms such as "blotto" as out-dated slang: "(blotto) evokes a distant echo of glad rags and flappers ...
It recalls a past which is not yet 'period'.""In all countries, the First World War weakened old orthodoxies and authorities, and, when it was over, neither government nor church nor school nor family had the power to regulate the lives of human beings as it had once done.
In May of that year, Selznick Pictures released The Flapper a silent comedy film starring Olive Thomas.