Wednesday

Seen & Heard- 14-year-old Leads Protest Against Seventeen Magazine

5c048cb6946c11e1a39b1231381b7ba1_7Image VIA Jenna Sauers
With the power of 25,000 signatures in a petition to get Seventeen Magazine to stop photoshopping the heck out of the young women on their covers, 14-year-old Julia Bluhm braved the impenetrable Hearst HQ offices this morning.

Fed up and frustrated at the artificial glowing images on the cover of the popular teen magazine, the eight grader posted a petition titled, “Seventeen Magazine: Give Girls Images of Real Girls!” on Change.org a few weeks ago.

Here is what she has to say about the petition, “Girls want to be accepted, appreciated, and liked. And when they don’t fit the criteria, some girls try to “fix” themselves. This can lead to eating disorders, dieting, depression, and low self esteem. Here’s what lots of girls don’t know. Those “pretty women” that we see in magazines are fake. As part of SPARK Movement, a girl-fueled, national activist movement, I’ve been fighting to stop magazines, toy companies, and other big businesses from creating products, photo spreads and ads that hurt girls’ and break our self-esteem. For the sake of all the struggling girls all over America, who read Seventeen and think these fake images are what they should be, I’m stepping up. I know how hurtful these photoshopped images can be. I’m a teenage girl, and I don’t like what I see. None of us do.”

The goal with the signatures was ultimately to get Seventeen Magazine to commit to printing one unaltered -- real -- photo spread per month. Jenna Sauers who is one half of the duo behind activist organization “Model Alliance” was in NYC this morning to see the dozen or so journalists, activists and young Julia swarm Seventeen’s offices or as it is famously known, Hearst HQ. According to Sauers, a representative of SPARK noted that the magazine’s Editor-In-Chief Ann Shoket has agreed to accept the petition to limit the use of Photoshop in the magazine.

Frankly the photoshopping craze has gotten so bad that most women just expect to look at overly smoothed out faces or mismatched limbs while flipping through just about any magazine. The fact though that young girls who really don’t know any better  think they should try to somehow emulate the “perfect” people inside the pages is quite sad not to mention disturbing.

Whether this ultimately makes a big difference or not remains to be seen but we have to hand it to this girl for taking issue and going through with her promise to have her and other young girls voices heard.

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