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14-year-old girl leads protest against Seventeen, demands unaltered photos

May 2, 2012 at 12:24 PM ET

Change.org /
Julia Bluhm, 14, posted a petition on Change.org, calling on Seventeen magazine to commit to printing one unaltered photo spread per month.

By Julia Rubin, Styleite

An eighth-grade student from Maine is taking on Seventeen magazine, and she has garnered support from nearly 25,000 people.

Two weeks ago, 14-year-old Julia Bluhm posted a petition on Change.org called “Seventeen Magazine: Give Girls Images of Real Girls!” which has gained traction online over the past few days. Bluhm is asking the teen magazine to print one unaltered photo spread in each issue.

“I want to see regular girls that look like me in a magazine that’s supposed to be for me,” she writes in the petition letter. She goes on to explain:

Here’s what lots of girls don’t know. Those “pretty women” that we see in magazines are fake. They’re often photoshopped, air-brushed, edited to look thinner, and to appear like they have perfect skin. A girl you see in a magazine probably looks a lot different in real life.

Seventeen /
A recent Seventeen magazine cover.

On Wednesday, Bluhm is planning a demonstration outside of Seventeen's headquarters, Hearst Tower in New York. It will involve a mock photo shoot where teens will be snapped in front of the building holding dry erase boards covered with messages to Seventeen. Bluhm also intends to bring printouts of her petition’s signatures to the magazine.

While we agree that excessive Photoshop work is indeed a problem in the magazine world, Seventeen is hardly the biggest culprit. It’s also worth noting that unlike most other mainstream magazines, Seventeen does indeed feature and photograph “real girls” — and with minimal airbrushing.

Do you agree with Bluhm's efforts? Are teen magazines too Photoshopped? Let us know in the comments!

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