Keeping It Real!

by Intern Yasmin

If there’s one thing that most of us can agree upon, it’s that mainstream media isn’t trying very hard to build up women’s self-esteem. Between gossip sites trashing even the most flawless celeb bodies and magazines that repeat the same lose-weight/please-your-guy/you’re-not-good-enough litany every issue, it’s difficult for many of us to catch a break (except when reading BUST, of course!). The battle towards self-love and acceptance is even more challenging for young adolescent girls trying to determine who they are within rapidly-changing bodies and a tough social climate.

That’s why you’d imagine that a magazine like Seventeen, designed specifically for girls and young women, would be at least mildly receptive to the petition started by 14-year old Julia Bluhm. Over 80,000 individuals have signed, asking that Seventeen print “one unaltered spread per issue” (you can read more about it here). However, when the petition was delivered to the magazine in May, Seventeen’s editor Ann Shoket refused to act upon what she admitted was a “reasonable” request.

In response, Julia and the blog SPARK Summit have launched a three-day “social media action” called Keep It Real, which begins today. The hope is that a sustained barrage of wall posts, tweets, and “real” photos will pressure Seventeen and other similar publications to change the way things work in the industry. Show your support by tweeting with the hashtag #KeepItReal, posting on Seventeen’s Facebook wall, signing the petition, or posting photos of yourself through the #KeepItRealChallenge. Here’s to visible pores and real beauty!

Images Courtesy and

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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