Thousands join girl in urging Seventeen magazine to publish unedited images

From The Guardian UK:

Julia Bluhm, 14, a ballet dancer and aspiring activist, says she’d like one spread a month that shows bodies that aren’t ‘fake’

in New York, Wednesday 2 May 2012

A teenage reader of Seventeen magazine is hoping to change the title’s practice of airbrushing images to make young girls appear flawless and thin.

Eighth-grader Julia Bluhm, 14, from Maine, delivered a 15,000-name petition to the Hearst magazine’s editor-in-chief, Ann Shoket, on Wednesday calling for the magazine to publish at least one unaltered photo spread a month.

“A lot of my friends are happy in their skin, but I know people who aren’t comfortable and wished they looked differently,” said Bluhm, who dreams of becoming a professional ballet dancer and activist. “There are pictures all over the media that show photoshopped girls that have no flaws and they are perfect.”

In her petition, titled Give Girls Images of Real Girls, Bluhm, a blogger with Sparksummit, a “girl-fuelled” movement against the sexualisation of young women, wrote: “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.”

Bluhm hopes to fight back through her work with Sparksummit, which began after the American Psychological Association task force reported the harm to girls’ self-esteem caused by sexualised images of young women.

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