In April, Julia Bluhm, an eighth grader from Maine, took on the fashion industry by asking Seventeen magazine to “Commit to printing one unaltered — real — photo spread per month” in its pages. Bluhm said she was inspired to create the petition while thumbing through the magazine. The online petition can be seen here.
“I look at the pictures and they just don’t look like girls I see walking down the street and stuff… I want to see regular girls that look like me in a magazine that’s supposed to be for me,” she said.
Bluhm took her protest to the streets, created an online petition, and even met with Seventeen editor-in-chief Ann Shoket. A few days ago she won; the magazine vowed to adopt eight goals for their readers including to “celebrate every kind of beauty” in its pages.
The new policy is being celebrated as a victory in the war against unrealistic fashion images in the media — but are the changes substantive or merely cosmetic?
On Bluhm’s petition page is a short blog titled “How we won,” stating that “After over 84,000 people signed Julia’s petition… the magazine has made a commitment to not alter the body size or face shape of the girls and models in the magazine and to feature a diverse range of beauty in its pages. Julia’s message to all her supporters: ‘Seventeen listened! They’re saying they won’t use photoshop to digitally alter their models! This is a huge victory, and I’m so unbelievably happy.’”