The 1920s in the history of women's bodies

Ever since reading Hollywood Babylon recently, I've been on a silent movie kick, mainly watching Clara Bow movies from Netflix. The following stills are from The Show-Off and The Plastic Age. I find it interesting that Bow, the original It Girl, the hottest of the hot in her day, isn't as skinny as most celebrities now.




Also, I'm intrigued with how queer and alt these women look. I think of a post Margo, Darling wrote a long time ago about getting her hair cut really short:

I cut it because my building has very weak circuits and my blowdryer kept knocking the power off. I cut it because I teach an early class this quarter and this requires no fixing at all. I cut it because I lost about twenty pounds last year and I promised myself that when I got my cheekbones back (sharper, stronger, bolder now, because I'm older) I could pull it off. I cut it because I didn't want to look preppy, or upwardly-mobile. I cut it because I wanted more queer visibility, because it seemed important that I not acquiesce to the tyranny of socially-normative standards of white female beauty (watch for women with short hair on tv tonight. You will not see one, unless she is an old woman in a posture-pedic bed commercial, or a crying contestant on a rerun of last season's America's Next Top Model.)

She's right. I know, for example, that my family -- not Jonathan, he would like anything I did with my hair -- would be horrified if I got this haircut (Louise Brooks):


But in these films, literally all the women have haircuts like those of Bow and Brooks, and it was fine. I wonder what happened to make this look so fashionable, then what happened to give it the queer cast it has now.