In the early 1920s the Gibson Girl, dressed in her tight-waisted skirt, frilled blouse, and masses of lustrous hair piled high on her head, transformed herself into a new iteration of the independent young woman – The Flapper. She cut her locks and sported a short bob, wore makeup and a plunging neckline, hitched up her skirts to expose shapely legs covered in silk stockings, threw off her corset – and took on the world. They freely smoked in public, drank alcohol, danced the Charleston all night at jazz clubs, cavorted on public beaches in skimpy bathing suits and petted in the rumble seats of fast cars. The even more audacious amongst them became known as “Vamps”.
Through snapshot photography this site celebrates the lives of these ordinary women and girls – our foremothers – who in the 1920s and 1930s challenged the old social rules as they entered the workforce and began to live independent lives and in so doing paved the way for their daughters, their granddaughters and their great-great-granddaughters to live in a world where equality, if not always a lived reality, is a widely accepted ideal. I look forward to sharing my research and snapshot photographs collected from around the world with you. I invite you to join with me in celebrating your Flapper ancestors by sharing your own snapshot photographs of your Flapper women almost 100 years on. – Victoria Blake Miller