Early 20th Century
Since the 1980s, “It” girl has been perceived as an attractive girl who flaunts her sex allure and strongly associated with celebrity, fame, and beauty. The earlier definition of an “It” girl in the early 20th century was different. “It” girl then referred to a girl who achieved popularity and fame, but without advertising her sexuality.
The first and original “It Girl” was one of the most successful and popular silent film stars, Clara Bow. With her big eyes and babyface, Clara quickly won the love of America. For the audience, what was more engaging than her physical beauty on the screen was her non-traditional personality. She was cheerful, breezy, confident and lively. Her hit changed the previous perception of girls and girlhood: the public became not only more accustomed to modern young women having active career development outside home, but also comfortable with the increased diversity of girls’ sexual expressions. Meanwhile, early debates on girls’ acquiring sexual knowledge were also going to start.