Beauty Routine

1920s Historical Implications with my New Hairstyle

January 20, 2020

Taking inspiration from the 1920s hairstyles, I renovated my own hairstyle. No, my change in haircut does not pertain to the “new year new me” movement that tends to happen every new year. This is in fact, is a happy coincidence as life happens and the hairdresser can wait. I don’t particularly believe in waiting for the start of the new year to make changes to your life. If you want to change something in your life just set a goal and do it. However, the hairstyle itself hold roots in historical events that to pertain to the 1920s. Whilst this was not the reason for cutting my hair it did provide the inspiration.

The History

The early 1900s became a time of change and women start making great strides in their respective rights. The women’s suffrage movement is well on its way in the 1900s. In 1919, the 19th amendment is passed by Congress and the Senate and 1 year later it is ratified. Women were powerful and on the move to great accomplishments.

Now how does this in any way relate to a hair cut? Whilst women earn many things with the suffrage movement there is one thing they need to claim; their definition of femininity. Prior to the 1920s, the “New Women” is being defined by writers as the educated woman and the athletic woman. She’s an artist, she’s poised, sophisticated, she’s beauty and she’s grace she’s…. still having her image defined by a man.

The Gibson Girl

The Gibson Girl style is the “in look”. This look captures this “New Women” writers were describing. Charles Dana Gibson created these illustrations based on what he had seen women like in public settings; parks, social gatherings, etc. Gibson did take this one step further and define her role in society. He defines “The New Woman” as having dominance in the relationship and in the public scene. This opposed the subservient role women had played previously. This is still indeed a huge step in women’s empowerment. But the detail of a man defining the feminine looks still remains.

The 1920’s “Bob”

In 1915, the bob makes its first appearance, when ballroom dancer Irene Castle chops off her locks for “convenience”. Crazy, what a concept. With the Gibson Girl Style being the prior socially acceptable look and short hair not being “ladylike”, many women’s hairdressers don’t oblige to cutting the long locks off. Women turn to barbers to create what they define as “the in look”. This style could, in fact, be one of the first sightings of “gender-bending” in mainstream society. We now see the ladies “sticking it to the man” if you will. This is, in fact, a huge step forward as women now began to take ownership of their appearance and made decisions for themselves. The bob becomes the 1920s hairstyle.

My Hairstyling

You may notice, I have recently cut roughly 4 inches of my hair off and got bangs. Whilst not the shortest my hair has been (I used to have an asymmetrical pixie cut), 4 inches is visually a bigger change than the length of hair cut off. However, it is the most drastic hair cut I’ve had in a while. Whilst not as short as I originally intended to go, I still greatly love my new hair.

I wanted a change, so I looked at the ladies of the past and went with a bob; a style I myself am quite familiar with. Something elegant yet edgy. Being the 1920s is a huge time of change, I chose to take inspiration from the bob and make a look that could also be versatile. I kept a longer bob so I can still curl my hair and add some excitement to the hair. The midi bangs are added for flavour. I am still tweaking my hair. Changes I want to make include: reshaping the bangs to be more square and going shorter.

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