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Newspaper Page Text
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."