Why I Agree That Teen Magazines Have a Responsibility to Feature REAL Girls
Posted 05/02/12 at 11:00AM by Audrey Fine
This was also way before PhotoShop existed. (It was probably even before the dude at Adobe who invented PhotoShop existed.) But, for a teen magazine, that was probably a good thing. Girls from all around the country could look at us, the "models," and see that we were pretty much like the rest of them -- just with better lighting, and pro hair and makeup folks gussying us up behind the scenes.
My how times have changed. These days, if you flip through a copy of "Seventeen" or "Teen Vogue" or any other glossy kids book, you'll be amazed at the photos staring back at you. The models on these pages are perfect with a capital PERFECT. Teeth, skin, boobs, hair -- every last detail of their physicality has been tweaked to the point of impossibility and, guess what? It's not sitting well with some readers. Especially not with 14-year-old Julia Bluhm from Maine who is so annoyed with all the airbrushing and altering in "Seventeen" magazine that she's launched a nationwide petition to put a stop to it.
Bluhm's petition, titled, "Seventeen Magazine: Give Girls Images Of Real Girls!" is gaining loads of attention, as the eighth grader seeks to get the mag to "commit to printing one unaltered -- real -- photo spread per month."
The 14-year-old, who is also a blogger for the activist site Sparksummit.com, writes in the petition that "those pretty women that we see in magazines are fake," adding, "They're often Photoshopped, airbrushed, 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." And, she goes on to point out that, "Girls want to be accepted, appreciated, and liked. And when they don't fit the criteria, some girls like to fix themselves. This can lead to eating disorders, dieting, depression, and low self-esteem."
Do you agree with Julia Bluhm? Should magazines showcase REAL girls or is using altered models and impossibly beautiful starlets all part of the aspirational intent of a magazine?
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