Katie White ‘20, Managing/Copy Editor
The 1920s were a revolutionary time for music, fashion, and entertainment. Political and social changes were fresh in the air, and jazz music rang loudly on every corner. The Roaring ʼ20s have greatly contributed to and benefited our modern society in more ways than we often think about, even 100 years later.
Quite possibly the most iconic symbol of The Roaring ʼ20s is the flapper. This new evolution of women’s fashion and confidence flooded the streets of America’s cities. Flappers were known for their rebellious behavior and defiance of societal norms. Women’s fashion became more risqué; they displayed shorter skirts, bobbed hair, and dramatic makeup as they freed themselves from the gender role bindings of previous generations. They began to embrace sexuality as a part of life and rejected the typical role of settling down with a husband and having children.
The flappers started to introduce the idea of feminism into a male-dominated society. As more and more women embodied the idea of the flapper, the population became swayed to change with them. Women’s suffrage earned them the right to vote in 1920, and many women took on jobs to contribute to the economy.
100 years later, America is ever-changing. As the 2010s are expiring, the ʼ20s are being welcomed back. This past century has brought extreme advances in technology as well as political and economic changes, just in this past decade alone.
The Information Age of the 1920s has become the Digital Age of the 2010s, kicking off with the development of the iPhone; Apple products are seen in almost every hand. Information is available at the snap of a finger, and all that is needed is a good Wi-Fi connection. This privilege of instantaneous information is often overlooked, which is why looking back to the previous century is important to the advancement of society. The upgrade of the media and technology has contributed to our country’s culture in ways that no one would have expected, whether it was through dance crazes like the Harlem Shake or Gangnam Style, or internet phenomenons like the famous white and gold or black and blue dress debate.
In 2015, same-sex marriage was legalized in the U.S. under former president Barack Obama. All people are now free to marry their significant other (no matter their race, sex, or gender) and this right is protected by U.S. law. This brought a new sense of freedom and recognition of the rights that all U.S. citizens were promised under the Constitution, similar to when women were granted the right to vote in 1920 with the passing of the 19th Amendment.
2016 brought a chaotic year: the internet mourning the death of a gorilla, going crazy over Pokémon Go, the random and unexplainable clowns running around the streets in October, and a reality TV star elected president. Senior Jordan Rempert said, “2016 was crazy, especially being a freshman and adjusting to life in high school. What I remember the most is how people constantly flipping water bottles in the cafeteria.” This fever-dream of a year contributed to popular culture in the most unexpected ways.
The 2020s await us as this decade comes to a close. Society still has much to learn and embrace, but if this new decade measures up to its predecessor, then we are in for many ups and downs. The important part is not forgetting how far we have come as a society in the past hundred years alone. Who knows what we can count on or what is coming next, but here is to another decade of progress and prosperity.
Photo courtesy of Pinterest