The Rise of Mass Media

<em>Woman's Home Companion</em> cover Would Your Husband Marry You Again?

Would Your Husband Marry You Again?

The Reward of Beauty

Mixed Messages in Mass Media

Mass circulation magazines and movies offered images of women's freedom in the 1920s. But they also encouraged women to internalize new anxieties about their bodies. Along with freer clothing that displayed more of the female body came new expectations for presenting the body in public – having youthful skin, fresh breath, shapely legs, and the right kind of make-up. Rejecting the corset, this generation embraced these expectations, along with dieting and counting calories.

Advertisements often offered to solve these new anxieties through consumer beauty and health products. Only with the use of such products could women be successful in the marriage "market" that still determined their futures.

They're Off! Teaching old dogs new tricks

John Held

Illustrator John Held's exaggerated drawings of flappers adorned the covers of mass-circulation magazines like these, and came to symbolize the Jazz Age.

Held had a beach cottage in Westport, just down the road from the Fitzgeralds, and was also famous for his lavish parties. "His angular and scantily clad flapper was accepted by scandalized elders as the prototype of modern youth, the symbol of our moral revolution." (Corey Ford, The Most of John Held, Jr.)