Yesterday we reported that teenagers were protesting outside of Teen Vogue‘s Manhattan offices in the hopes that the magazine would make an anti-airbrushing, pro-diversity pledge. Now it’s sounding like things didn’t go as well as they had hoped.
After 14-year-old Julia Bluhm started a Change.org petition asking Seventeen magazine to start printing unaltered photos and was met with success, girl-focused activism group SPARK thought that perhaps they could get Teen Vogue to make a similar pledge. Yesterday, the group hand-delivered another Change.org petition that garnered almost 30,000 signatures to EIC Amy Astley. Astley’s response? She allegedly met with the protesters for no more than five minutes, just enough time to hand them copies of the magazine and tell them to “do their homework”.
In a press release obtained by BuzzFeed Shift, protester Emma Stydahar, 17, said in reponse to Astley’s reaction:
“We have done our homework. That’s why we started this campaign, because three out of every 4 girls feel bad about themselves after reading a fashion magazine. That’s not a statistic that the magazine industry should be proud of. It should change, and I know it will change if we continue demanding diverse, real images of beauty from Teen Vogue.”
This must have been a bit of a shock after Seventeen EIC Ann Shoket was so enthusiastic about vowing to not give her readers unrealistic images that don’t represent them. It certainly isn’t the outcome we expected to see. BuzzFeed Shift reports that Teen Vogue had already issued a response to the petition, saying:
Teen Vogue makes a conscious and continuous effort to promote a positive body image among our readers. We feature healthy models on the pages of our magazine and shoot dozens of non-models and readers every year and do not retouch them to alter their body size. Teen Vogue pledges to continue this practice.
Still, having already made a public statement isn’t a reason to brush off young girls that have made a very brave effort to get their voices heard; from a magazine that should be encouraging them to do just that, their reaction seems pretty backward.
[via BuzzFeed Shift]