onestly? I kind of can’t believe what I’m reading right now! A 14-yearold girl just changed the world (that part I can believe). She obtained 25,000 signatures on a petition to get Seventeen Magazine to change their photoshopping policies. Seventeen Magazine has just embraced young Julia Bluhm‘s crazy, radical idea of showing women and girls as they are and has even taken her idea a step further. Read more about their unbelievable new commitment to “keeping it real” with the feminine form inside.
SEVENTEEN MAGAZINE VOWS TO “KEEP IT REAL” WITH PHOTOSHOP THANKS TO AWESOME 14-YEAR-OLD GIRL
Who could take on an epic, established monolith like Seventeen Magazine and expect it to bow to the demands of teenage girls?
The answer to that of course is 14-year-old Waterville, Maine resident and SPARKteam member Julia Bluhm who delivered 25,000 signatures to the offices of Seventeen in May (she currently has 84,000!) imploring the magazine to produce just one un-Photoshopped spread a month.
And it looks like Seventeen editor-in-chief Ann Shoket is committing to make that unlikely request a reality.
Though Shoket met with Bluhm in May and gave her a glorified “thanks, but no thanks,” the latest issue of Seventeen features a letter from Shoket announcing the magazine’s “Body Peace Treaty,” in which she and the staff vow to, among other things, “never change girls’ body or face shapes,” “be totally up-front about what goes into our photo shoots,” and “always feature real girls and models who are healthy.”
Shoket’s pledge comes on the heels of a 3-day “Keep it Real” challenge launched by SPARK, the amazing San Francisco-based Miss Representation and several other organizations. The campaign spread across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds, putting the pressure on women’s magazines to quit digitally altering images.
Only time will tell if Shoket and Seventeen actually deliver on their promise to keep it real, but in the mean time, SPARK and its supporters refuse to put the issue to rest. Their next mission is to convince the editors at Teen Vogue to follow suit.
Read more here.
After that new Kanye track I thought I’d reached the pinnacle of happiness today but… dare I say… this makes me happier? Now it should go without saying that this story is only the beginning of a conversation that needs to continue. And the truth is, those conversations begin first in the home (or in home-like surroundings), because a magazine can only be responsible for teaching young girls so much. What I mean is, if young women are being positively educated and encouraged, no amount of photoshopping should be able to convince them that they need to look a certain way. I don’t believe in putting all of the responsibility of young people and their behavior, and their self-esteem on media and businesses. It takes a village!
Anyway, I am such a fan of this little girl (Julia is the one in the middle of the pic up top) who did not do what so many of us– myself included– do: complain about the images we find troubling and then go back to whatever we were doing before we were troubled. She actually did something and I am a huuuge fan of people who DO things! Because it always seems to have an effect! Who would have thought?! LOL.
I know we’ve a long ways to go in terms of women and media but we’ve a long way to go with A LOT of things and I know this is a great step. Please join me in applauding young Julia, who may or may not have just shown this 27-year old the meaning of womanhood. Thanks Jules!
One small step for Seventeen Magazine, one large step for man and womankind.
Read Julia‘s full petition here.
Oh, and for clarification– Seventeen will clearly still photoshop their images, but as you can see in the example they gave, it will be used mainly to adjust or edit the model’s surroundings, not her body. Amen.