A Teen Convinces Seventeen to Stop Using Photoshopped Images 1 Favorite 

Practitioner: 

Date: 

May 2 2012

Location: 

New York, NY

Julia Bluhm told The Huffington Post: “I’ve always just known how Photoshop can have a big effect on girls and their body image and how they feel about themselves”. So on May 2, 2012, 14-year-old Bluhm lead an anti-Photoshop protest in front of the Hearst Tower, which is home to Seventeen Magazine. Other protesters included her mother and members of the SPARK movement (Sexualization Protest: Action, Resistance, Knowledge). In addition to holding up clever signs, the protesters set up a fake photo shoot. Bluhm also delivered her “Seventeen Magazine: Give Girls Images of Real Girls!” petition to the magazine’s executive editor. Supported by approximately 84,000 signatures, the petition asked Seventeen to print at least one unaltered photo spread in each printed issue.

With regard to Bluhm protest and her petition, Seventeen said the following: “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…”

After meeting with Bluhm, the editor-in chief of Seventeen, Ann Shoket, included a letter and a ‘Body Peace Treaty’ in the August 2012 issue. According to the magazine’s ‘Body Peace Treaty’, Seventeen will “never change girls’ body or face shapes”, and they propose to “celebrate every kind of beauty in our pages”. In other words, Bluhm’s protest and petition were successful endeavors.

Along with a couple of her friends, Bluhm is currently trying to get Teen Vogue to refrain from using altered photographs, as well.

Maybe young girls like Julia Bluhm can continue to have a positive impact on the teen magazine industry, which, according to the American Psychological Association, causes girls to become more prone to depression and eating disorders.

Posted by jng280@nyu.edu on