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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, March 12, 1917, LAST EDITION, Image 9

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1917-03-12/ed-2/seq-9/

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RUTH, RUNAWAY AT 11, SUCCUMBS TO AIL
MENT OF ALL NORMAL GIRLS: WANTING
TO BE SEEN
BY WINONA WILCOX
Ruth Lewis, 11 years old, of Hugo,
Okla., has run away from home four
times. She -wants to be a movie
queen. She says her home is happy
but it isn't getting her anywhere in
her career. -
Probably Ruth's researches in
modern literature have not yet led
her very deep into the study of
suffrage theories. The economical
independence of woman with a ca
reer has no lure for Ruth. It doesn't
really attract many women.
What "gets" Ruthie is glamor
' just as it is getting hundreds of other
girls who are older than she is.
Ruth wants to be. seen. So does
the greater part of the youngish fe
male population. Now that this con
tagion has attacked a little 11-year-old
in Oklahoma, it probably has
completed conquest of the country.
Fortunately, few mothers find the
disease afflicting primary school
girls, but few escape the ordeal in the
high school period.
Then mothers suddenly discover
the symptoms the lip stick, the
rpuge pot and an absorbing interest
in the shape, size and color of shoes.
These things are as catching as
the measles and not so easily cured.
They generally develop into a
chronic trouble extravagance. And
a few years later, ah unsuspecting
bridegroom will find himself hi for
bills his salary was never intended to
cover.
Serious persons all over the land
are trying to stop this plague of bold
and expensive dressing among school
girls. Some private academies limit
the cost of'a pupil's wardrobe. Some
adopt a standardized costumef like
the middy.
Mothers' clubs deplore conditions
and suggest remedies. Some talk of
athletics and art. Some fancy that
"by getting a daughter's confidence"
thev can make wisdom nersuasive.
But the observant know that moth
ers and girls are never so far apart
as at the high school'age. m Ji
All proceed on the assumption that
girls can be separated somehow
trom the great feminine desire to be
seen, to be set apart from others, to
be different, distinguished, conspic
uous, to be observed of men.
They also assume that this is an
immodest and an immoral desire.
Upon that kind of a mistake they
can never base a cure.
There is nothing immoral about
the wish to be lovely; the girl's need
to have her beauty noticed is as na
tural as breathing and therefore t
cannot be immodest.
It is seldom a girl's fault when she
is stricken with the modern malady
whose symptoms are atrocious taste
in dress.
Mothers know that if they, fail to
air and sun the house, tuberculosis
may develop in one of the family. If
they tolerate the housefly, they may
expect typhoid.
Home sanitation prevents disease.
And home influence forms a girl's
.taste.
If we build up bodily resistance we
can run, the risk of catching germs.
If we build up mental resistance to
filse standards of taste in dress, we
can set a girl adrift in a gaudy world
and she will always look.like a lady.
There's none too much beauty
upon the earth. Every woman ought
to be not only permitted, not only ex
pected, but commanded to contrib-
ute as mucfi loveliness as she can to
existence!
And what this sad world needs just -now
is more natural beauty:
There's some difference between
the blossoms of a rose garden and
those of a rnilliner's "shoppe."

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