Jo’s Bob

As we examine some of the icons of the 1920s in the lives of our Local History Month heroines, we can’t help but consider the bob.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, Bernice Bobs Her Hair, captures the transformative power of bobbed hair as a rite of passage into the Roaring Twenties. In Bernice’s case, she found that she couldn’t really carry off a bob; neither her hair nor her self-confidence were the right texture for a bob. Josephine and Ferol, however, were born for the bob.

I’m not sure what hair styles were truly representative of circa 1920 in other places, but the hairstyles on display in Issaquah’s class photos and yearbook pictures were matronly and often unflattering. In earlier photos of Josephine with her hair in an upsweep, she appears older than she does in later pictures where her hair is bobbed. She also appears much happier and more at ease with herself in the post-bob photos, although this could also be explained by the poise of an adult versus the unease of a teenager, along with what appears to be significant weight loss. (Click on the images to view them in detail).