Girl power is not dead, people, and we love it. (Exhibit A: Tavi). Today Julia Bluhm, a 14-year-old eighth grader from Maine, is making headlines with a petition she started in her school lunchroom that’s since gone viral.
Her request? For Seventeen magazine to post one unaltered “real” photo spread a month. Bluhm, a ballet dancer and a member of the SPARK movement (which describes itself as “a girl-fueled activist movement to demand an end to the sexualization of women and girls in media”) started a petition to raise awareness of the prevalence of photoshopping. “Seventeen Magazine is supposed to be a relatable magazine, right? How can we relate to computer altered photos?” Bluhm said in a release. “Seventeen is popular with my friends and lots of teen girls. If they agree to print one unaltered spread a month, they could start a trend that will help so many girls like me feel better about their bodies.” She points out that while photoshopping is an open secret in the industry, a lot of girls her age think what they’re seeing in magazines is real, therefore perpetuating the skinny, blemish-free as an ideal.
What started as, and still is, a lunchroom/grassroots petition, now has over 7,000 signatures, which you can sign over at Change.org. Here’s an excerpt from the petition:
That’s why I’m asking Seventeen Magazine to commit to printing one unaltered — real — photo spread per month. I want to see regular girls that look like me in a magazine that’s supposed to be for me.
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. I know how hurtful these photoshopped images can be. I’m a teenage girl, and I don’t like what I see. None of us do. Will you join us by signing this petition and asking Seventeen to take a stand as well and commit to one unaltered photo spread a month?
Doesn’t seem like too much to ask, does it? We’ve reached out to Seventeen for comment, and will update if we get a statement from them.