A society is described better by nature and dimensions of culture. Culture is described as an associated mode of living of a give group of people. These dimensions include believes, practices, values and norms in a society. In the contemporary world, the term culture is linked to the lifestyle of a society. The society, in cultural context, can range from a group of individuals to a whole continent. However, the consistence of culture in a group will be influenced by the extent of the society characterized by the culture. For instance, an organization culture may be more consistent among individuals in that organization that a culture that describes American or African culture. Despite America having a characteristic style which differentiates it from other continents such as Africa, there are variations within the American individuals on the dimensions of culture. The black Americans may be having a different culture than that of the Native American, yet unified by the American culture.
The American culture has undergone several metamorphic stages dictated by the economic, political and social influence. It is long this metamorphic trend that the country has witnessed the “flapper” period. The term flapper as illustrated by Joshua Zietz in his book Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and Women Who Made America Modern, (Joshua, 2007) refers to women who were lively, free from the culture of norms restrictions and modernized. The emergence of these women is viewed as the turning curve in the modern culture of America. In the early 1900s, the term flapper was the common in several parts of American society, but the term gained much attention in 1920s. This is the period that the American culture, especially among the women, took a new turn where norms in the society were less accorded attention than in the earlier years (Joshua, 2007).
The film industry seems to play a vital role in cultural modification, in America. Following the release of a film The Flapper, the influence of the images in communication was vividly witness. The starring in the book and other actors, such as Clara Bow and Colleen Moore, had the characteristics of a flapper. This was the time when the existing American culture where women in the society were supposed to take the humble, feminine and submissive roles in society. Withflappers in the society, women behaviors and roles were turn to resemble those of young men (Joshua, 2007).
The Victorian Era was seen to overturn at the time the flappers gained control in the culture of America. The mode of dressing changed from the long hemline dress to miniskirts, which portrayed the woman as sexual and erotic (Gourley, 2007). This mode of dressing was over introduced in the society by the famous designer of those ages Coco Chanel. Coco Chanel introduced the new cloth design that was fashionable and appealing among the flappers in the society. Coco Chanel designing gave the woman a new looks in the society different from that strongly advocated during Victorian Era. The young generation was largely away by this culture which gave them a boyish look.
The film industry was also transformed by the new dressing and fashion among the women. The American Jazz erupted in the society where young individuals enjoyed music that was full of robust and “happy feeling” effect. This category of music led to the eruption of a characteristic dance that made youth population agile. It is during this time that youth started flocking in dancing halls with the aim of entertaining themselves with jazz and its characteristic dancing. The film producers also adopted the flapper image in movies. The film industry adopted the idea of using the boyish picture of a girl to describe the solders in the war torn fields. This affected motivated the women to engage in more men-like activities, in the society, than previous generations. Women soldiers in the movies were displayed as having a significant role in the wars just like their male counter parts (Flappers, 2004).
The generation that was raised during this time took interest in images and pictures more than those in the Victorian Era. It is within this time that the film industry stated to invest heavily on advertisement using images. Individuals were keen on messages illustrated on images. This is the birth of the current culture of visual advertisement. Film industry is accorded the credit of developing and popularizing celebrities in the society. People are now regarded as celebrities, and their images used to advertise and market products across the nations. This culture originated from America especially during when flappers made history in America.
The flappers broke the tight social norms on genders roles in a society. During the Victoria Era, women assumed domestic chores while men were active in bread winning activities. However, the turning point displayed by the flappers gave women a new look in the society. They began to compete actively with the men in the job market and other men related hobbies. Women became more assertive for their rights in the society than before. The culture of women destiny being dictated by men, social norms, or older individuals in the society also broke loss (Joshua, 2007). These advancements in the role of a woman life contributed to a great deal to the current American culture.
The current culture in America varies from that in the Victorian Era. Right from dressing, gender roles and social expectation, the current woman in the America society is quite different from that in the Victorian Era (Flappers, 2004).. The involvement of women images in the advertisement industry is as a result of Coco Chanel designing that redefine the image of a woman from that of the old look to an elegant, sparkling and beautiful enough to capture the attention of many in the society (Gourley, 2007). Women were able to make a significant impact through their newly developed code of dressing. The image and position of women in the society has drastically improved with new roles and expectations emerging.
Women have also become vocal in the society. The new woman was vibrant in pushing for their rights and rightful share in the society. The boundaries that they have expounded cut across the field of gender identity, economic power and gender roles. Flappers opened the door for freedom in decision making and way or living among the women The culture of following the norms in the society that seemed to inhibit women rights to gain a competitive arch in the society was broken by the flappers. The volatility and vigorous characteristics of the flapper played a crucial role in replacing the old woman to take the new look. The trend of the design initiated by Coco Chanel that introduce the flappy dressing, sleeveless tops, tight fitting dress and short skirts have been the current trend of dressing in America (Joshua, 2007).
Morally, the flappers transformed the America culture tremendously. The woman can now turn to smoking, drinking, and sexual explicit behaviors. The teenagers were no longer controllable, and street dating became vivid with flappers. This affected the behavior and moral teaching of the community. This has been attributed to premarital sex and the increased used of birth control in the society. The religious teaching and base line creed on morality seem to have been dissolved and a feeling of “do not care” developed among the youth. The social values of modesty, chastity, and morality were totally ruined during this period. Flappers lead to the current trend in the social behavior where individuals are engaging in drug use, immortality and irresponsible behaviors especially among the youths.
Involvement of the young generation in the film industry motivated the youth to adopt a lifestyle characterized by vest outgoing and visit even at odd hours. The dressing made the women feel free and seen, or appreciation motivated them to engage in publicity activities, in the society. The desire to have a new design that is different from others led to the development of celebrity figure, in the society. This celebrity effect is developed when other individuals appreciate your outfit and outlook. This has motivated the extent of the current culture where women apply makeup to draw attention.
Flappers were associated with a slim figure which has been motivated in the current American culture. Coco Chanel clothes design left flappers with a flat chest, boyish look, have led to ideation of beauty with small boobs (Gourley, 2007). Large boobs were associated with unsophisticated lifestyle. The woman was supposed to be flexible, agile and vibrant in the social setup too promote their ability to compete for employment opportunities with their male counter parts. The boyish look was aimed at making the woman appear hardy and able to tolerate and cope hardy task just like men.
Flappers were vital artifact in social change (Joshua, 2007). They initiated the culture of consumerism among females that targeted to break the old era, and ushered in a new culture that would place a woman at a competitive edge in the society. Religiously, flappers violated the religious teaching and appeared to be opponents of moral teaching. Most of the flappers were the young generation, and this raise the question of morality stand of future generation. Despite liberating women from traditional chains of restrictions and social injustice, the morality factor pose the principle demerit associated with flippers
In conclusion, the American culture seemed to have taken a new turn at an accelerated rate in the 1920s. Flappers carry the credit for the revolution and cultural roles change among women in American. It is during their immense cultural war that women were able to compete effectively with men in the society. Women acquired the right to vote, make their own decisions in life and acquire gender identity and equity. In the contemporary world, woman is more assertive and less depended on men.
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