Bernice Bobs Her Hair
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Bernice Bobs Her Hair Women and Femininity Quotes
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The balcony was inside. It consisted of the circle of wicker chairs that lined the wall of the combination clubroom and ballroom. At these Saturday-night dances it was largely feminine; a great babel of middle-aged ladies with sharp eyes and icy hearts behind lorgnettes and large bosoms. (2)
Here, Fitzgerald pokes fun at what he depicts as the fundamentally judgmental nature of women, specifically aging ones.
Warren was nineteen and rather pitying with those of his friends who hadn't gone East to college. But, like most boys, he bragged tremendously about the girls of his city when he was away from it. There was Genevieve Ormonde, who regularly made the rounds of dances, house-parties, and football games at Princeton, Yale, Williams, and Cornell; there was black-eyed Roberta Dillon, who was quite as famous to her own generation as Hiram Johnson or Ty Cobb; and, of course, there was Marjorie Harvey, who besides having a fairylike face and a dazzling, bewildering tongue was already justly celebrated for having turned five cart-wheels in succession during the last pump-and-slipper dance at New Haven. (7)
In this world, socialites are celebrities – we get the feeling that a woman is judged purely on the merit of her social successes.
Much as Warren worshipped Marjorie, he had to admit that Cousin Bernice was sorta dopeless. She was pretty, with dark hair and high color, but she was no fun on a party. Every Saturday night he danced a long arduous duty dance with her to please Marjorie, but he had never been anything but bored in her company. (9)
We all know, as Cyndi Lauper tells us, that "girls just wanna have fun." What Fitzgerald informs us of here is that men just want girls to be fun – even if a girl if gorgeous, she doesn't stand a chance if she can't entertain.