The answer was a combination of different things: a sense of humor and a sense of social justice and also a sense of equality for all,” says Kim, who is the editor of The Flapper’s Dictionary, a reference guide for flappers and flappers only.
Kim, who is also a writer of the book “The Flapper’s Guide to Flashing” — which gives readers a history of the flapper lifestyle as best as it can be found online – says the modern flapper is one who can fling her style and lifestyle onto other people — as long as the flapper dresses up and doesn’t look like the guy in the picture.
“Flappers are not people who are in a relationship with a guy. They are women who want to go out on their own. They are not going with somebody to get drinks,” says Kim, who admits, “The whole world is looking at us and saying that we are crazy. And we’re not.”
The word flapper has been defined in so many different ways around the world that a single definition has not been used by any single historian. Yet, in Kim, there sits a dictionary that’s used to define flappers across the globe. The dictionary includes all the major and obscure definitions people have come up with and Kim calls it her “dream” to eventually publish a definitive definition and to help define an entire culture.
She says it would not be a challenge to try to make a flapper definition. For example, one study published in 1998 on the origins of flappers found that they were born and raised in a culture where flappers used to dress in suits. The study described such cultures as: Europe, Japan, and Canada. So, for example, someone who grew up in Canada would most likely have been called a “Canadian Flapper.”
This isn’t just a flapper concept. It has a broader meaning. “I do believe that for a young lady to say I got my start in the ’70s, it can mean I am very early to be flapper,” says Kim. “I don’t mean to define young women who are flappers, but young girls who are flappers because they came up right after the ’70s.”
Kim says that by defining flappers, she wants to empower women who might have felt left behind, who may feel that it will be hard to find a place where they can express themselves free from the “cultured” culture of a certain age.
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