Teen Julia Bluhm Convinces 'Seventeen' To Feature Realistic, Non-Airbrushed Models
The 14-year-old from Maine got 84,000 girls to sign her Change.org petition, which was enough for the mag's editorial staff to take notice.
Under pressure from thousands of young women around the world, Seventeen magazine has promised to "celebrate every kind of beauty" and feature photographs of real girls and models who are healthy and not underweight.
Editor-in-chief Ann Shoket made the announcement in her editor's letter in the just-out August issue. This marks a huge victory for a 14-year-old from Maine named Julia Bluhm, who launched the anti-airbrush protest on Change.org with the slogan, "Seventeen Magazine: Give Girls Images Of Real Girls!”
The petition requested that the magazine include one unaltered photo spread per month. In May, Bluhm and a group of girls hand delivered the document -- with its 84,000 signatures from around the world -- to the mag's NYC offices. The young girls also got attention by protesting outside with signs that read "Teen Girls Against Photoshop."
The magazine has also promised to “never change girls’ body or face shapes” when retouching images, which is seen as the first step for realistic role models and healthier body images for teenage girls.
Bluhm also told her supporters on Change.org: "Seventeen listened! They're saying they won't use photoshop to digitally alter their models! This is a huge victory, and I'm so unbelievably happy."
She added that another petition is being started by her fellow anti-photoshop activists, this time targeting Teen Vogue. "If we can be heard by one magazine, we can do it with another. We are sparking a change!"
The "Teen Vogue: Give Us Images of Real Girls" petition already has 11,752 signatures.
In a bizarre note, the Seventeen editor's letter fails to specifically mention Bluhm or her petition. So we're thinking: all those in favor of Seventeen featuring Bluhm and the girls who signed the petition in upcoming fashion spreads, raise your hands!
Tell us: Will Seventeen's response have an impact on Teen Vogue, the girls' next media target?