Thursday, June 3, 2021

Roaring 20's Trivia: KNEES

Remember the movie, Chicago? 
It may not be historically accurate to a fault. 
But, it is a Hollywood depiction of the Flappers and the time of the Roaring 20's.  So, let's dive right in by listening to the first few lines of the song, "All that Jazz": 

"Come on babe, why don't we paint the town?
And all that jazz.
I'm gonna rouge my knees and roll my stockings down
And all that jazz."

Ok. What's the deal about "rouged knees"?
 . . . Well, I had to find out!
Here are a few quotes from what I found:

"That’s not just a weird lyric — it was a major fad during the Roaring Twenties to rouge one’s knees. While dress hems would hit flappers below the knees, that part of the leg would usually expose itself while they Charlestoned inside dance halls. So by rouging them and rolling their stockings down, it only brought more attention to that illicit flash of skin."

"The 'flappers' were wearing skirts shorter than ever before (hemlines just under the knee were the ’20s version of a miniskirt), they were rolling down their stocking below the knee or giving up on them altogether, and knee rouging became just another way to attract attention to an area of the female body that had never been as visible before."

Then, apparently, it went even one step farther. 
The girls even painted pictures on their knees.

"Rebellious girls in the 1920s wanted to anger and shock their Victorian-era parents, so not only would they bare their knees with short dresses, but they would also paint pictures to make sure an onlooker didn't miss their risque hem length. Rolled stockings became a fad with the shorter hemlines, and girls would go get roses, butterflies, ocean scenes, or their dogs' faces painted on their knees to further push their boundaries."

So, to sum this all up (in 1920's slang)  
Having rouged or painted knees. . .  
Seems to have been the "bee's knees"