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Out of the Mouths of BabesGirl Evangelists in the Flapper Era$
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Thomas A. Robinson and Lanette D. Ruff

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199790876

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199790876.001.0001

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Girl Evangelists versus the Flappers

Girl Evangelists versus the Flappers

(p.51) Chapter 6 Girl Evangelists versus the Flappers
Out of the Mouths of Babes

Thomas A. Robinson

Lanette D. Ruff

Oxford University Press

Girl evangelists stood as a useful contrast to the new image of youth and the female. It was the press that first noticed this and made something of it. It gave them a concrete opposite of the flapper to exploit. But the contrast between the flapper and the girl evangelist was exaggerated. Not every girl labelled a flapper adopted every aspect of flapper behavior and dress. Not every girl evangelist rejected every aspect of flapper culture, though generally that amounted to little more than a bobbed hairstyle. For the most part, girl evangelists made flappers a target of their preaching, though some more gracefully than others. Revivalism and Pentecostalism became alarmed when flapper fashion (shorter dresses and use of cosmetics) were adopted by members of their congregations, and girl evangelists, representing the ideal of the traditional girl, had to be careful not to adopt too much of the flapper style and thus lose their audience and support.

Keywords:   bobbed hair, flappers, fashion, cosmetics

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