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Teen Girl Petitions Seventeen Magazine to Stop Airbrushing Models

Posted by on May. 2, 2012 at 1:11 PM
  • 28 Replies
4 moms liked this

I'm going to do some research on Spark and see if I can get my 15 yo DD interested in it. I think this is a great idea and would love to see her be successful.  I'm so sick of reading about such and such an actress did x, y and z to look awesome in her skin tight costume.  Or such and such an actress is back to pre-pregnancy size a month after giving birth. Maybe my DD's generation (she is 15) can demand change and actually succeed.  

Teen Girl Petitions Seventeen Magazine to Stop Airbrushing Models

By Sarah B. Weir, Yahoo! blogger

Julia Bluhm, 14, is an eighth grader from rural Waterville, Maine. She loves ballet and attends class six days a week. She is also gaining national attention as an activist who is challenging the media to take responsibility for the way it warps girls' self-esteem.

Related: Model Coco Rocha Slams Retouched Cover

"I've always noticed how a lot of the images in magazines look photo-shopped," Bluhm tells Yahoo! Shine. She wants all girls to feel comfortable in their own skin. "Girls shouldn't compare themselves to pictures in magazines," she says. "Because they are fake."

Eleven days ago, she launched a petition to ask one of her favorite magazines, Seventeen, to feature one un-retouched photo shoot a month. "They have already done a lot to help girls improve their body image. Their Body Peace feature is great. I thought that they could take it one step further with an unaltered photo spread." This morning, she is leading a protest outside of Seventeen's offices in Manhattan which will include a mock fashion shoot."I'm a little nervous. But excited."

Related: Stars Without Photoshop

Bluhm started blogging about girls and self-esteem a year ago when she joined SPARK, a non-profit organization for 13 to 22 year-olds that calls itself a "girl-fueled activist movement to demand an end to the sexualization of women and girls in media." One of SPARKS' recent accomplishments was to get a meeting to with top LEGO executives to discuss, among other issues, the LEGO Friends line of toys which they say are demeaning to girls. However, the petition is, as Bluhm puts it, "my first big action."

Her petition on change.org reads:

"To girls today, the word 'pretty' means skinny and blemish-free. Why is that, when so few girls actually fit into such a narrow category? It's because the media tells us that 'pretty' girls are impossibly thin with perfect skin.

Here's what lots of girls don't know. Those 'pretty women' that we see in magazines are fake. They're often photo-shopped, airbrushed, 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....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....I've learned that we have the power to fight back."

The American Medical Association (AMA) backs up Bluhm's assertions. In June 2011, they issued a press release stating, "A large body of literature links exposure to media-propagated images of unrealistic body image to eating disorders and other child and adolescent health problems." Board member Barbara L. McAneny, MD, added, "We must stop exposing impressionable children and teenagers to advertisements portraying models with body types only attainable with the help of photo editing software."

Related: Life Transitions May Trigger Eating Disorders

So far, in the United States, only Glamour magazine has responded to the AMA's call to action. In its March 2012 issue, the popular women's magazine told readers, "And while our policy has always been not to alter a woman's body shape, we'll also be asking photographers we hire not to manipulate body size in the photos we commission, even if a celebrity or model requests a digital diet (alas, it happens)."

Some stars are also refusing to "go under the brush." Notably, Jessica Simpson appeared without makeup or retouching for a Marie Claire photo shoot in 2010 and more recently, actress Cate Blanchett revealed her natural 42-year-old face for the online magazine morentelligentlife.com.

VIDEO: Turkish Fashion Magazine Reaches out to Veiled Women

As of today, May 2, Bluhm's petition has nearly 24 thousand signatures. She is surprised how quickly it's taken off. "I didn't think it would get this big," she laughs. Even though she hasn't quite reached her goal of 25 thousand signatures, editors are already listening. Bluhm says Anne Shoket, the magazine's Editor-in-Chief, has reached out and asked to see the petition. Fittingly, the current cover features Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Katniss Everdeen, the ultimate girl-power heroine, in the box office smash "The Hunger Games."

Meanwhile, the eighth grader from Maine plans to enjoy her first trip to New York City. "I want to do some sight seeing with my mom who is here with me," she says. "Maybe visit the Empire State Building."

http://shine.yahoo.com/beauty/teen-girl-petitions-seventeen-magazine-stop-airbrushing-models-130000558.html

by on May. 2, 2012 at 1:11 PM
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Replies (1-10):
punky3175
by Punky on May. 2, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Yep - it's a shameless bump because I'm curious what you all think about this.  Especially those who have teenage daughters.  Would you encourage your daughters to start a petition like this? 

stormcris
by Christy on May. 2, 2012 at 1:38 PM
1 mom liked this

I think they will just seek out more almost perfect skin and get very creative with camera angles... and that could be worse.

On the pre pregnancy weight ....if you had that trainer you could be there too. Many of the articles are fair and do say they did such and such along with their personal training.

I think when people are happy with themselves that none of this will matter.

punky3175
by Punky on May. 2, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Sadly, some women will continue to compare themselves to celebrities.  They forget that these women are paid to look like they do and their careers depend on it.  They also forget that the women have the money to spend on trainers and special diets as well as the time to devote to it.  Personally, I'm confident in who I am and do not aspire to look like any celebrity. 

Shouldn't media take some responsibility in how they have portrayed ideals of beauty over the years?  For those women who aren't as self-confident and can't feel good about themselves seeing Jennifer Anniston and Angelina Jolie on magazine covers?

Quoting stormcris:

I think they will just seek out more almost perfect skin and get very creative with camera angles... and that could be worse.

On the pre pregnancy weight ....if you had that trainer you could be there too. Many of the articles are fair and do say they did such and such along with their personal training.

I think when people are happy with themselves that none of this will matter.

 

stormcris
by Christy on May. 2, 2012 at 1:54 PM

It would be helpful of them to consider how their images impact the world but as for should take responsibility...no. The reason I said no, and it is not without trepidation, is that this creates a slippery slope in which we then force all people to be responsible for the happiness and mind set of others. It could create some far reaching implications.

To go to the furthest reach of this caused to mind the tragedy of the shooting of John Lennon. The man who shot him did so in part because of the song Imagine and the fact that John Lennon was asking people to join him in this fictional world but was not living up to what he was asking people to join in on, plus other statements Lennon made. IF we begin to hold the responsibility on the people who create art, for others view of that art, then technically John would be held responsible for his own death. 

I know that is a bit extreme but responsibility is a very big word and assigning it also assigns liability for the outcomes of such. 

Quoting punky3175:

Sadly, some women will continue to compare themselves to celebrities.  They forget that these women are paid to look like they do and their careers depend on it.  They also forget that the women have the money to spend on trainers and special diets as well as the time to devote to it.  Personally, I'm confident in who I am and do not aspire to look like any celebrity. 

Shouldn't media take some responsibility in how they have portrayed ideals of beauty over the years?  For those women who aren't as self-confident and can't feel good about themselves seeing Jennifer Anniston and Angelina Jolie on magazine covers?

Quoting stormcris:

I think they will just seek out more almost perfect skin and get very creative with camera angles... and that could be worse.

On the pre pregnancy weight ....if you had that trainer you could be there too. Many of the articles are fair and do say they did such and such along with their personal training.

I think when people are happy with themselves that none of this will matter.

 


Fear of serious injury alone cannot justify oppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.
Louis D. Brandeis
erika9009
by Bronze Member on May. 2, 2012 at 1:55 PM
1 mom liked this

I like the idea.  I think they make women look unrealistic.  We have imperfections people, get passed it. I have my little bit of frekles and various moles here and there. That sure does'nt keep my husband from saying "Wow!" when I have "that" outfit on.

punky3175
by Punky on May. 2, 2012 at 2:04 PM
1 mom liked this

Great points.  I can definitely agree with that.  So I'll change it to being more socially conscious. :D 

Quoting stormcris:

It would be helpful of them to consider how their images impact the world but as for should take responsibility...no. The reason I said no, and it is not without trepidation, is that this creates a slippery slope in which we then force all people to be responsible for the happiness and mind set of others. It could create some far reaching implications.

To go to the furthest reach of this caused to mind the tragedy of the shooting of John Lennon. The man who shot him did so in part because of the song Imagine and the fact that John Lennon was asking people to join him in this fictional world but was not living up to what he was asking people to join in on, plus other statements Lennon made. IF we begin to hold the responsibility on the people who create art, for others view of that art, then technically John would be held responsible for his own death. 

I know that is a bit extreme but responsibility is a very big word and assigning it also assigns liability for the outcomes of such. 

Quoting punky3175:

Sadly, some women will continue to compare themselves to celebrities.  They forget that these women are paid to look like they do and their careers depend on it.  They also forget that the women have the money to spend on trainers and special diets as well as the time to devote to it.  Personally, I'm confident in who I am and do not aspire to look like any celebrity. 

Shouldn't media take some responsibility in how they have portrayed ideals of beauty over the years?  For those women who aren't as self-confident and can't feel good about themselves seeing Jennifer Anniston and Angelina Jolie on magazine covers?

Quoting stormcris:

I think they will just seek out more almost perfect skin and get very creative with camera angles... and that could be worse.

On the pre pregnancy weight ....if you had that trainer you could be there too. Many of the articles are fair and do say they did such and such along with their personal training.

I think when people are happy with themselves that none of this will matter.

 


 

UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 2, 2012 at 2:11 PM
1 mom liked this

I think magazines marketed specifically to children have a moral obligation to consider how their content impacts a reader who is likely impressionable and insecure.

That girl should be proud of herself.

punky3175
by Punky on May. 2, 2012 at 2:13 PM
3 moms liked this

I think her mom should be extremely proud.  And I even went and signed her petition with the note that I have a 15 year old daughter. 

Quoting UpSheRises:

I think magazines marketed specifically to children have a moral obligation to consider how their content impacts a reader who is likely impressionable and insecure.

That girl should be proud of herself.

 

muslimahpj
by Ruby Member on May. 2, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Good for her.

LindaClement
by Linda on May. 2, 2012 at 3:01 PM

One of the more unusual things my eldest got, when she was working in a retail store, was the preliminary model shots of their upcoming advertising, so they'd know what kinds of things to suggest their customers return for... they were all pre-shopped photos, complete with serious acne, razor burn, moles, pudge and hilariously discoloured and uneven skin tones.

Strangely, it's not what the ads looked like when they were done.

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