This article focuses on the image of the flapper and the modern young woman in Zelda Fitzgerald's journalism and selected short fiction. While her journalistic articles champion the idea of a modern consumerist selfhood for women, they deploy an ironic and playful tone, distinguishing between her own ideal of the authentic flapper as an exemplar of moral courage and pioneer of social change—of flapperdom as a philosophy—and later glamour-obsessed, image-driven imitators of the flapper lifestyle. Even as they celebrate the decadence of flapperdom, her short stories can be read in the context of her journalism as presenting cautionary tales of its hollowness for those who pursue the flapper image as a game, a masquerade performed at the expense of an authentic self. Zelda Fitzgerald challenges and critiques this notion of the modern woman in the very magazines that were endorsing it.

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