The US Hispanic Flapper: Pelonas and Flapperismo in US Spanish-Language Newspapers 1920-1929
Feu Lopez, Maria Montserrat
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Mexican exile journalist Julio Arce’s chronicles “Todo se arregla con money” (1924), “Cosas del Exhibition Day” (1924), and “La estenógrafa” (1925) are analyzed for their farcical portrayal of the 1920s Modern Girl, who symbolized immoral and consumerist modernity for Arce’s readers. The article considers the context of previously unstudied journalistic genres from the era’s leading U.S. Spanish-language newspapers, which display a range of comic forms that negatively represent the flapper’s appearance and lifestyle. Beyond derisive entertainment, humor is aimed at influencing readers’ opinions about U.S. Hispanic women’s gender and ethnic restrictions. The pelona was a popular topic in Spanish-language newspapers, and references to other entertainment industries from that era show that critical responses to flapperismo traveled across media, not only in the United States but also throughout the Americas.