An eighth grade student is taking on Seventeen, and she has garnered support from nearly 15,000 people.
A couple of weeks ago, 14-year-old Julia Bluhm posted a petition on Change.org called “Seventeen Magazine: Give Girls Images of Real Girls!” which has gained traction in the past few days. Bluhm is asking the magazine to print one unaltered photo spread in each issue. “I want to see regular girls that look like me in a magazine that’s supposed to be for me,” she writes in the petition letter. She goes on to explain:
Here’s what lots of girls don’t know. 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.
Tomorrow Bluhm is planning a demonstration outside of Seventeen‘s headquarters (aka Hearst Tower in New York). It will involve a mock photo shoot where teens will be snapped in front of the building holding dry erase boards covered with messages to Seventeen. Bluhm also intends to bring printouts of her petition’s signatures to the magazine.
While we agree that excessive Photoshop work is indeed a problem in the magazine world, Seventeen is hardly the biggest culprit. It’s also worth noting that unlike most other mainstream magazines, Seventeen does indeed feature and photograph “real girls” — and with minimal airbrushing.