Who was the first flapper? – Cheap Vintage Flapper Dresses

“If I could, I would say it was Mary Ann Stenzel.” Stenzel’s hair and dress were much simpler. She was “so much like women,” Stenzel says. She was born in Ohio, raised in Indiana, and taught at the University of Chicago. Stenzel was an early feminist. She supported women who had abortions, and wanted them to continue using birth control. During the Depression, Stenzel worked as a bookkeeper, a school teacher, and as a secretary. She ran for political office in 1932 and ran two unsuccessful campaigns, losing the first. She became a registered nurse in Chicago. She loved to read and write, but did not succeed in getting any published work. She wanted no political affiliation. As she told the story of her childhood, the world “began to look a lot more like Mary Anne,” she says. Later, Stenzel took a different path. “I wanted to have a career,” she says. She began teaching school in Los Angeles. She met Harry Lipsitz in 1951, when the author-philosopher was working for Time. Lipsitz was a writer of short fiction, but he had also taught and mentored students in English. Lipsitz liked Stenzel. Lipsitz offered her the position at his publication, Dial, which Stenzel took in 1962 in Manhattan while it was still called Esquire. Lipsitz, by contrast, was from Connecticut. This was the early days of the magazine, a small operation with a circulation of 3,000 to 4,000. Stenzel says the first issue was “the least successful of the years I worked there.” The first print of the magazine was a thousand copies—and its number grew from there. In the 1960s, however, “I didn’t do very much to market the magazine,” Stenzel says. Then, in 1969, she bought a small newspaper in Connecticut, and that gave the magazine its boost. That year, Esquire became a bigger thing in America. Esquire became known for its celebrity gossip and political commentary. The staff’s sense of humor was often in question, but Esquire was popular. It won a Pulitzer in 1971 for its feature on a former Miss America contestant called “The Girls of America.” Also in 1969, Stenzel was named editor in chief. Although she was new to the business, she was a veteran of the field. She says that the most difficult part of being editor-in-chief was

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