This clipping from New Zealand’s The Evening Post of 9 September 1913 gives us a fascinating look into the evolution of the word “flapper”. At first glance noting - as this article does - the “disappearance” of the flapper in 1913 is hilariously premature…the flapper as we understand the term today didn’t come into her own until the 1920s, although the word has much earlier origins. Reading on, however, it becomes apparent that this is the earlier incarnation of the flapper - the sort of in-between girl, the teen who is in between adolescence and adulthood, believed to be rather gawky and awkward (“flapper dresses” were advertised in the 1910s as loosefitting gowns suitable to someone in this intermediate stage).
The article tells us that the flapper has supposedly been replaced by “a generation of modern minxes, confident, brazen, and eager to startle their men friends by their openness of speech.” Further, they are notable for “a pandemonium of powder, a riot of rouge, and moral anarchy of dress” according to critics, but a supporter notes “complaints of the manners, behaviour, and the dress of young girls of to-day simply mean, in the opinion of a New York writer, that the English girl has become like her American sister— a splendid, reliable young person, possessing individuality of mind, and amply able to take care of her young sweet self.”
It was these very characteristics that the term “flapper” evolved to characterize.