Zelda Fitzgerald

Author, dancer, artist and trend-setting fashionista of the Roaring ‘20s
July 24, 1900-March 10, 1948

The first American flapper, the “It” girl of the Jazz Age, Zelda Fitzgerald was an influencer, fashionista and feminist ahead of her time.

I, Charley Morton, time traveler and science geek, have set out to record my interview with “It” girl, icon, artist and author in her own right as part of my "Superheroes of History" project

"Excuse me for being so intellectual. I know you would prefer something nice and feminine and affectionate.”

~Zelda Fitzgerald, Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda:
The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald
nature + human nature + education for women + social justice + writer + persistence = woman ahead of her time!

Charley Morton: Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview, Zelda! I've always been fascinated by the Jazz Age, and you're such an iconic figure from that era

Zelda Fitzgerald: You're very welcome, dear! It's a pleasure to speak with someone who's interested in the past. I'm happy to share some insights into my life as a flapper and the secrets of the Jazz Age.

Charley Morton: So, to start, can you tell me what it was like being an "it" girl during the Jazz Age?

Zelda Fitzgerald: It was quite an exhilarating experience. The whole world was on fire with new ideas, fashion, and music. I loved to dance the Charleston, bob my hair, and wear those daring flapper dresses.

Charley Morton: Your style was definitely iconic! Can you share some secrets about your fashion choices during that time?

Zelda Fitzgerald: Absolutely! One of the secrets to the flapper style was liberation and comfort. Women were no longer confined to corsets and long skirts. We chose dresses with dropped waists that allowed us to move freely on the dance floor. Stockings with seams down the back were all the rage, and we couldn't get enough of those beaded headbands and feathered accessories. It was about being bold, showing our individuality, and having fun with fashion.

Charley Morton: What was life like for you when you were my age?

Zelda Fitzgerald: I grew up in Montgomery, Alabama. My father, Judge Sayre, was very conservative and respectable. He forbade me to go out at night. I climbed out my bedroom window and went out anyway. There were so many boys who wanted to “protect” me. I never let them down on the dramatic possibilities or a scene—I gave a damned good show.

Charley Morton: You sound boy crazy, just like my friend Beth. Did you get in trouble for sneaking out?

Zelda Fitzgerald: Being a judge’s daughter, I never did. All I wanted to be is very young always and very irresponsible and to feel that my life is my own—to live and be happy and die in my own way to please myself.

Charley Morton: That’s a dream my generation can relate to. Can you share some secrets about the social scene during the Jazz Age?

Zelda Fitzgerald: Of course! The social scene during the Jazz Age was vibrant and decadent. F. Scott, my husband, and I were often at the center of it all. We attended wild parties, danced until dawn, and met fascinating people. One secret to thriving in that era was to embrace the art of conversation and wit. We loved to exchange clever remarks and engage in intellectual discussions.

Charley Morton: It sounds like a whirlwind of excitement. What about your writing and creativity? Any secrets to your success as a writer?

Zelda Fitzgerald: Writing was a way for me to express my thoughts and feelings. F. Scott and I both pursued our artistic endeavors passionately. I found inspiration in the world around me. I am really only myself when I’m somebody else whom I have endowed with these wonderful qualities from my imagination.

Charley Morton: Interesting. So you created characters who act the way you imagine yourself to be—is that how you came up with ideas for your writing?

Zelda Fitzgerald: I wrote from my experience, painting pictures with words.

Charley Morton: Painting pictures with words. I love that! Can you share an example?

Zelda Fitzgerald: “A southern moon is a sodden moon, and sultry. When it swamps the fields and the rustling sandy roads and the sticky honeysuckle hedges in its sweet stagnation, your fight to hold on to reality is like a protestation against a first waft of ether."

That’s from my roman à clef, Save Me the Waltz.

Charley Morton: I’ve heard you were a painter, too, isn’t that right? What other creative passions did you give expression to?

Zelda Fitzgerald: I loved expressing myself through painting and creating visual art that captured the vibrancy of the era. Dancing, on the other hand, was a way for me to let loose and enjoy the freedom of movement.

Charley Morton: Your husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald, is one of the most famous authors of the twentieth century. What was it like for you being married to the man who wrote The Great Gatsby? Was it true that he “borrowed” from your work.

Zelda Fitzgerald: It seems to me that on one page I recognized a portion of an old diary of mine which mysteriously disappeared shortly after my marriage, and, also, scraps of letters which, though considerably edited, sound to me vaguely familiar. In fact, Mr. Fitzgerald (I believe that is how he spells his name) seems to believe that plagiarism begins at home.

Charley Morton: Yet, you struggled with mental health issues—I’m wondering if your relationship with Mr. Fitzgerald didn’t contribute to that.

Zelda Fitzgerald: Nobody has ever measured, even poets, how much a heart can hold.

Charley Morton: Sounds complicated.

Zelda Fitzgerald: Nothing could have survived our life. I found solace in creative outlets like writing and art, which allowed me to channel my emotions. In the end, you are not defined by your struggles; you are defined by your resilience and ability to overcome them.

Charley Morton: “Resilience in overcoming life’s challenges” seems to be a theme be a theme that comes up in all my interviews with my heroes of history—then, and now! Last question. What’s the most valuable lesson you learned during your time as an “it” girl?

Zelda Fitzgerald: Embrace your uniqueness, follow your passions, and don't be afraid to challenge the status quo. The Jazz Age was a time of liberation and self-expression, and I believe those values are timeless. Remember, dear, the world is yours to explore and create in. Embrace the spirit of the Jazz Age in your own way and make your mark on the world!

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