Teenager Petitions Seventeen Magazine to Include Unaltered Photos

by Intern Kelsie

Many women have a love/hate relationship with the media. We grow up with it, are practically raised by it in some cases, and come of age looking to the media for clues as to the type of people, the type of women, we should become. According to the current beauty standards, the type of woman we should aspire to be is thin, white, wealthy and able-bodied. The most pervasive of those expectations in fashion magazines, at least, is thinness–we see it everywhere. Fashion week tries–and fails–to regulate the weight of their models. Tumblr and Pinterest try–and fail–to ban “thinspiration” content from their sites. Our female friends try–and fail–to regulate their self-criticism.

It’s not just a problem in magazines marketed to adult women. Seventeen Magazine is currently under fire for its photoshop policies, and leading the charge is 14-year-old Julia Bluhm. With the help of Change.org, Bluhm is demanding that Seventeen agree to print one unaltered photo spread per month to promote positive body image amongst teen readers. Her problem is with the altering of women’s bodies to make them look thinner–something that BUST can proudly say will never happen in our magazine.

Bluhm is part of SPARK, a response to the sexualization of girls that promotes healthy sexuality as opposed to the use of women’s and girl’s bodies as a marketing tool and a rating grabber. “I started this petition to help girls see that they’re not alone,” Bluhm added. “Seventeen Magazine is supposed to be a relatable magazine, right? How can we relate to computer altered photos?” 

Computer-generated female cyborgs? No thanks, we’d rather see real women.


To sign Julia’s petition, visit Change.org.


Image source itrainthereforeieat.wordpress.com

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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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