Seventeen Magazine refuses teen girl’s petition to curb photoshop

Julia Bluhm is 14 years old. Sick of seeing photo and after photo of teens photoshopped in Seventeen Magazine, she started an on line petition asking the magazine to feature just one authentic picture a month.

Yesterday, Bluhm took her petition and its going on 50,000 signatures to Seventeen’s office in New York City. Though Seventeen met with Julia, they refused to grant her request. Here is what the magazine had to say about Julia’s petition:

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 this morning. They had a great discussion, and we believe that Julia left understanding that Seventeen celebrates girls for being their authentic selves, and that’s how we present them. We feature real girls in our pages and there is no other magazine that highlights such a diversity of size, shape, skin tone and ethnicity.

In other words:

We met with the kid, OK? Please get off our backs and let us get out of this PR mess as gracefully as possible.

Listen, it may not seem like a big request, but if Seventeen published one un-photoshoped picture of a teen per month, it would be pretty obvious that all of the other photos in our magazine are photoshopped.

If SeventeenMagazine made girls that aware that they are aspiring to look like the non-humans who the magazine celebrates, our readers might be less inclined to purchase all of the fine make-up, hair products, and clothing advertised in the pages of our magazine.

Unfortunately for Julia and all teen girls, those advertising dollars keep our photoshopped magazine on the racks and pay our salaries.

No other major magazines are refusing to feature one regularly un-photoshopped picture, why should we? Just because our audience is teens? That’s not fair!

If Seventeen took the risk of showing actual girls in our magazine for girls, we risk coming off not as glamorous as our competitor fashion magazines. We are in the business of selling glamor for goodness sake. Again, the more unattainable that glamor is, the more likely girls are to feel insecure, the more likely they are to believe that they need to spend money on the products we’re selling. Get it now?

Sorry, Julia, but we need girls to stay quiet, obedient, and obsessed with their appearance. It’s good for business.

Please do not buy Seventeen’s September issue. Please share and Tweet this info, use hashtag #notbuyingSept17.

Also, please keep signing Julia’s petition. Even better, ask your daughters and sons if they want to sign too.

7 thoughts on “Seventeen Magazine refuses teen girl’s petition to curb photoshop

  1. You know what would be a cooler project? A magazine parodying magazines like seventeen and how they “celebrate” girls and “motivate” them. I’d buy that.

  2. Signed the petition. I have a very young daughter, and we have already discussed the issue of perfectionism re “being beautiful,” and how women are pressured to constantly be perfect.

  3. Is it a joke that you’ve got a ‘drop 3 dress sizes’ ad right under that post? I clicked through to see if it was but it seems to be a genuine advertorial for Acai Berries (supposed to aid weight loss). Guess you if you are running google ads you don’t know what you’re getting but it did makes me chuckle a bit! No need to approve this comment, just FYI 😉

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