Back in April, 14-year old Julia Bluhm petitioned Seventeen to stop digitally altering models' faces and bodies. She got 85,000 signatures, staged a demonstration outside Seventeen's offices and met with Seventeen EIC Anne Shoket, who, in response, published a new "Body Peace Treaty" in the teen glossy's latest issue promising to "Never change girls’ body or face shapes (Never have, never will)."
While Shoket doesn't actually state that the magazine will stop using Photoshop, and in fact just vows to continue current practices and be more up front about what goes into photo shoots, Bluhm was happy with the results.
Now, Carina Cruz and Emma Stydahar, 16 and 17-year-old members of advocacy group SPARK, of which Bluhm is also a member, have launched a similar petition on Change.org asking Teen Vogue to "Follow Seventeen’s example and pledge not to alter any model’s body or face and to celebrate beauty in all its forms," which so far has over 26,000 signatures.
Yesterday, Teen Vogue's PR director Erin Kaplan (remember her?) released the following statement in response:
Teen Vogue makes a conscious and continuous effort to promote a positive body image among our readers. We feature healthy models on the pages of our magazine and shoot dozens of non-models and readers every year and do not retouch them to alter their body size. Teen Vogue pledges to continue this practice.
Again, it's another 'we're going to keep doing what we were already doing' kind of response. One that didn't quite satisfy Cruz and Stydahar.
“We’re glad Teen Vogue says they don’t Photoshop, but we want them to say it where it matters, in the pages of their magazine,” said Stydahar in response to Teen Vogue's statement. “We hope to meet with Amy Astley and Teen Vogue editors on Wednesday to discuss if and when they’ll let their readers know that they’ll commit to not altering faces and body sizes and to including diversity in their pages.”
According to a release, Cruz and Stydahar, along with other SPARK members, plan to stage a mock runway show in front of the Conde Nast building, in which teens will walk a runway holding dry erase boards with handwritten messages. They'll also deliver their signed petition and meet with Astley to "discuss a public 'no Photoshop' commitment."
All of this is set to go down tomorrow so stay tuned for our update from the front lines!