mikaela foster
May 07, 2012 9:30 am

Julia Bluhm is one of my new idols. Not only is she 14 and written about on places such as The New York Times and Huffington Post, but it’s because she’s standing up for a cause that millions of girls across the world can relate to and have issues with every day. After constantly having to listen to the girls in her ballet class talk about how fat they think they are, Julia realized that a lot of the high expectations that girls have for their bodies comes from magazines. Especially Seventeen magazine. A lot of girls read Seventeen, and all the models in it are tall and skinny, with no blemishes or pimples whatsoever. They’re perfect. No one looks like that, not even the models in the magazine.

After realizing this, Julia decided to start an online petition for Seventeen magazine to have one non-Photoshopped spread in every monthly issue. Julia created her petition 2 weeks ago, and now, as of the time I’m writing this article, her petition has 51,813 signatures.

One of my biggest problems is low self esteem. Yeah yeah, I’ve pretty much covered it before, but I really do agree with everything that Julia is putting out there. I do read magazines like that and I sometimes feel bad about how I look when I look at the models. This is one of the things Julia says about the petition: “To girls today, the word ‘pretty’ means skinny and blemish-free. Why is that, when so few girls actually fit into such a narrow category? It’s because the media tells us that ‘pretty’ girls are impossibly thin with perfect skin.”

Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Seventeen should be promoting that with all different types of models, but instead their only models are tall, skinny, pretty and Photoshopped. That’s giving off the impression to readers that to be beautiful, you need to be a twig with perfect skin and hair. Which isn’t true! Teenage girls are going to get pimples, and they’re not all going to be as skinny and perfect as the Photoshopped models. Seventeen should be telling readers to embrace that, but it’s not. It’s one of the reasons that so many girls have eating disorders, wear 5 tons of makeup and dress inappropriately. Because that’s what they’re told is beautiful. When I read a magazine that’s supposed to made for girls my age, I don’t want to read about 5 tips on getting skinny fast. Unfortunately, that’s not we are reading.

Yesterday, a post on Jezebel declared that Seventeen magazine had said thanks, but no thanks to Julia’s petition that, at the time, had 25,000 signatures. What the heck, Seventeen?! That’s not cool. I think Seventeen would have way more readers if they actually put models in that look like normal people, and not Photoshopped supermodel types.

To sign Julia’s petition, click here.

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