Julia Bluhm is only 14 years old, yet she is making headlines by leading a protest against magazines like "Seventeen" in an effort to curb photoshopping and airbrushing. Bluhm intends to make sure that "Glamour" magazine's Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive holds to her promise of limiting photoshopping.
"I started this petition [on Change.org] to help girls see that they're not alone," Bluhm told the Huffington Post. "'Seventeen' magazine is supposed to be a relatable magazine, right? How can we relate to computer-altered photos? 'Seventeen' is popular with my friends and a lot of teen girls. If they agree to print one unaltered spread a month, they could start a trend that will help so many girls like me feel better about their bodies," she explained.
Bluhm's petition currently has over 41,000 signatures on Change.org, and Bluhm herself has printed the signatures and taken them to the Hearst building, which is home to the magazines she is petitioning. She was greeted with applause by several teenage girls who wanted to offer their support and encouragement.
Part of the group outside the Hearst building included members of SPARK: Sexualization Protest Action Resistance Knowledge. SPARK is a "girl-fueled activist movement to demand and end to the sexualization of women and girls in media," according to the group's website. As part of Bluhm's campaign, SPARK has started a contest encouraging girls to upload their "real" images into a "Seventeen" cover template.
"Seventeen" magazine has launched the Body Peace Project, spear-headed by its Editor-in-Chief. The Project encourages readers, and teens of all ages, to accept their bodies, which may or may not match the images found in the magazine's pages.
Readers are given a set of vows to take before signing the pledge to be at peace with one's body.
"I vow to know that I'm already beautiful just the way I am," reads one vow. "I vow to accept that beauty isn't just about my looks. It's my awesome personality and my energy that creates a whole, unique package," states another.
Yet it would seem that for all the good "Seventeen" intends with the Body Peace Project, it is missing out on the opportunity to show girls real images of themselves, and that is what Julia Bluhm is seeking to change.