FILED IN: Social Issues

Teenager protests Seventeen magazine, airbrushed images

Julia Bluhm (second from left) takes on Seventeen. Screen capture via My Fox New York.

Julia Bluhm, an eighth-grader from Waterville, Maine, is tired of seeing airbrushed, photoshopped girls in her favorite magazine. So, she decided to challenge Seventeen.

Trying to make an impact, she created a petition on Change.org entitled “Seventeen Magazine: Give Girls Images of Real Girls!”  She feels that all girls have the right to feel appreciated and accepted.

In her petition, she states that the media has created an impossible to obtain image for girls. She states, “Those “pretty women” that we see in magazines are fake. They’re often photoshopped, air-brushed, edited to look thinner, and to appear like they have perfect skin. A girl you see in a magazine probably looks a lot different in real life.”

Through her petition, Bluhm is challenging Seventeen to publish one unaltered photo spread each month. Currently, the petition has 36,665 signatures. The petition has been up since April 19th.

This morning Bluhm, her mother, and members of the SPARK movement, a social awareness group, brought Bluhm’s protest straight to Seventeen’s headquarters in the Hearst Tower in New York City. Bluhm aimed to deliver her message along with the signatures of her supporters directly to Seventeen. The protest also included a mock photo shoot of teenage girls.

She told the Huffington Post, “I’ve always just known how Photoshop can have a big effect on girls and their body image and how they feel about themselves. You need to see something realistic — you need to see a reflection of what truly represents a teenage girl nowadays.”

Bluhm was invited to meet Ann Shocket, Seventeen‘s Editor in Chief after her protest.

A spokesperson from Seventeen issued the following statement to My Fox New York, “We’re proud of Julia for being so passionate about an issue – it’s exactly the kind of attitude we encourage in our readers. We feature real girls in our pages and there is no other magazine that highlights such a diversity of size, shape, skin tone and ethnicity.”

Sources: Huffington Post, Morning Sentinel, My Fox New York