Earlier this week, Seventeen magazine, on the urging of thousands of readers, pledged to stop airbrushing and Photoshopping the girls in its pages. The move was in part due to the work of 14-year-old high-schooler Julia Bluhm, who launched a petition encouraging the mag to show what girls really look like.
In response, Seventeen editor-in-chief Ann Shoket released a statement in the latest issue, noting that “Like all magazines, we retouch images … but we never alter the way girls on our pages really look.” Shoket also announced the launch of “The Body Peace Treaty,” a series of goals the magazine staff vows to keep, including featuring real girls who look healthy, and helping girls “make the best choices for your body.”
Now, on the heels of that success, Bluhm and her affiliated group, Spark, “a girl-fueled activist movement to demand an end to the sexualization of women and girls in media,” are pointing their laser focus on Teen Vogue. Earlier this year, Vogue and all its affiliate publications pledged not to feature models under 16, and not to shoot any models who appear to be suffering from eating disorders (though how they’ll discern that is unclear).
Spark unleashed a new online petititon, urging Teen Vogue to stop using Photoshop, too.
Teen girl-targeting magazines bombard young women with images that have been distorted and digitally altered with programs including Photoshop. These photoshopped images are extremely dangerous to girls like us who read them, because they keep telling us: you are not skinny enough, pretty enough or perfect enough.
This is a great start, but Spark and teen activists shouldn’t stop there. It’s not simply that teen mags feature airbrushed and Photoshopped bodies — it’s that even sans airbrushing, these bodies are often not representative of the way women and girls really look. Let’s urge these mags to show different bodies, not just airbrush-free ones. [Spark]