Lifestyle & Belief

Julia Bluhm, a 14-year-old, petitions Seventeen Magazine to publish unaltered photos


Actress Shay Mitchell promotes her Seventeen Magazine Prom Issue cover at Barnes & Noble on March 16, 2012. A 14-year-old from Maine, Julia Bluhm, started a petition asking for Seventeen Magazine to publish at least on unaltered photo spread a month. She handed the petition, with at least 15,000 signatures, to the editor-in-chief on May 2, 2012.


Michael Loccisano

Julia Bluhm, a 14-year-old aspiring ballerina from Maine, delivered a petition with nearly 15,000 names to Seventeen Magazine's editor-in-chief, Ann Shoket, on Wednesday.

The petition's demand: Give Girls Images of Real Girls.

(As of now, the petition has been signed by over 30,000 people.)

Bluhm said, "A lot of my friends are happy in their skin, but I know people who aren't comfortable and wished they looked differently," according to the Guardian. She added, "There are pictures all over the media that show photoshopped girls that have no flaws and they are perfect."

The petition reads, "Girls want to be accepted, appreciated, and liked. And when they don’t fit the criteria, some girls try to “fix” themselves. This can lead to eating disorders, dieting, depression, and low self esteem."

It continues, "For the sake of all the struggling girls all over America, who read Seventeen and think these fake images are what they should be, I’m stepping up," and ends with a challenge thrown to Seventeen Magazine, to print one unaltered, "real," photo spread every month.

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According to MSNBC, Bluhm planned a demonstration and mock photo shoot outside Seventeen's headquarters, Hearst Tower, in New York City on Wednesday.

A statement from the magazine said, "We’re proud of Julia for being so passionate about an issue – it’s exactly the kind of attitude we encourage in our readers – so we invited her to our office to meet with editor in chief Ann Shoket this morning. They had a great discussion, and we believe that Julia left understanding that Seventeen celebrates girls for being their authentic selves, and that’s how we present them," according to CBS News.

Bluhm said she started the petition aimed at the teen magazine because, "A lot of girls read Seventeen magazine. They do a lot to make girls feel good about themselves, stuff like Body Peace. So I thought if they are already doing it, they might like to do more. There have been stories about how much photoshopped images can hurt girls with low self-esteem and eating disorders," according to the Guardian.

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