“I don't want to live, I want to love first and live incidentally.” Zelda Fitzgerald
"the Flapper awoke from her lethargy of sub-deb-ism, bobbed her hair, put on her choicest pair of earrings and a great deal of audacity and rouge, and went into battle. She flirted because it was fun to flirt and wore a one-piece bathing suit because she had a good figure; she covered her face with powder and paint because she didn't need it and she refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn't boring. She was conscious that the things she did were the things she had always wanted to do. Mothers disapproved of their sons taking the Flapper to dances, to teas, to swim, and most of all to heart. She had mostly masculine friends, but youth does not need friends -- it needs only crowds, and the more masculine the crows the more crowded for the Flapper. Of these things the Flapper was well aware!'
Zelda Fitzgerald Eulogy on the Flapper
Zelda Fitzgerald was THE original flapper. Her tempestuous marriage with F Scott Fitzgerald was the inspiration for a number of his books including Tender is the Night and the Beautiful and the Damned. Depending on whose account you read she was either a spoilt brat or a thwarted creative genius whose career was stifled by her overbearing husband. They lived in style, but came to a sad end due to her nervous breakdown and his alcoholism, and I think this context adds an extra poignancy when Fitzgerald describes the out of control antics of his characters - Woody Allen's movie Midnight in Paris depicts this very well. After her death, Zelda began to be revered as a feminist icon, and interestingly in her 1922 essay 'Eulogy on the Flapper', she described the 'Flapper' lifestyle as a proto- feminist way for young women to break out of the conservative stranglehold of the Edwardian era with new styles, dances and outrageous behavior.
(Alison Pill as Zelda Fitzgerald in Midnight in Paris)