A Maine teen won the battle against digitally altered images in Seventeen magazine.
“I hoped that Seventeen would do this but I guess I didn’t think it would actually happen,” Julia Bluhm, 14, said. “It’s been really exciting for me.”
In the August issue of the magazine, editor Ann Shoket included a letter and body peace treaty that states Seventeen will “never change girls’ body or face shapes,” and “celebrate every kind of beauty in our pages.”
The treaty also promises to include behind-the-scenes photos on the magazine’s Tumblr page to show what goes into a photo shoot. The entire staff signed the pact.
Julia’s campaign for change started in April when the eighth-grader from Waterville, Maine, became tired of seeing the unrealistic images of women on the pages of the magazine.
She interviewed students in her school’s cafeteria about digitally altered images in magazines. She then began a petition on Change.org titled “Seventeen Magazine: Give Girls Images of Real Girls.”
Julia’s petition collected more than 25,000 signatures in two weeks.
Julia delivered a petition in May with 84,000 signatures from around the world to the executive editor of Seventeen. She also organized a protest outside the magazine’s offices with other petitioners and set up a fake photo shoot.
“If we make ourselves heard about how important Photoshop is and how much of an effect it has on girls, they’ll [Seventeen] become more aware,” Julia said. “And Seventeen did that.”
After her recent victory, Julia updated her petition page with the headline “How We Won.” She has now joined another petition, started by two of her friends, to get Teen Vogue to stop using digitally altered models on its pages. The petition already has 9,500 signatures.