Has the Flapper Changed?

‘Has the Flapper Changed? F. Scott Fitzgerald Discusses the Cinema Descendant of the Type He Has Made So Well Known’

F. Scott Zelda

Have flappers changed since you first gave them the light of publicity? For Better? For worse?

Only in the superficial manner of clothes, hair-cut, and wise-cracks. Fundamentally they are the same. The girls I wrote about were not a type– they were a generation. Free spirits– evolved through the war chaos and a final inevitable escape from restraint and inhibitions. If there is a difference, it is that flappers today are perhaps less defiant, since their freedom is taken for granted and they are sure of it. In my day–stroking his hoary beard–they had just made their escape from dull and blind conventionality. Subconsciously there was a hint of belligerence in their attitude, because of the opposition they met–but overcame.

On the screen, of course, is represented every phase of flapper life. But just as the screen exaggerates action, so it exaggerates type. The girl who, in real life, uses a smart, wise-cracking line is portrayed on the screen as a hard-boiled baby.The type, one of the most dangerous whose forte is naïveté, approximates a dumb-dora when she reaches the screen. The exotic girl becomes bizarre. But the actresses who do flappers really well understand them thoroly enough to accentuate their characteristics without distorting them.

Motion Picture, Margaret Reid, July, 1927.