Seventeen Magazine’s Body Peace Treaty


Fashion magazines are constantly under fire for making drastic changes with photo editing technology and for using models that are too thin. 14-year-old Julia Bluhm, from Maine, started a petition earlier this year on change.org urging Seventeen magazine to print at least one photo spread in each of their monthly issues that had not been retouched using Photoshop. In this petition Bluhm stated, “Girls want to be accepted, appreciated, and liked. And when they don’t fit the criteria, some girls try to “fix” themselves. This can lead to eating disorders, dieting, depression, and low self-esteem. Here’s what lots of girls don’t know. Those “pretty women” that we see in magazines are fake. They’re often photo shopped, air-brushed, 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. That’s why I’m asking Seventeen Magazine to commit to printing one unaltered—real—photo spread per month. I want to see regular girls that look like me in a magazine that’s supposed to be for me.”

Julia Bluhm received a staggering amount of support from people that agreed with her request. The petition had over 25,000 signatures.  Editor-in-chief of Seventeen magazine, Ann Shoket,  has responded in kind by pledging to “never change girls’ body or face shape” and only show “girls and models who are healthy”.  This “Body Peace Treaty” was signed by the entire Seventeen staff and promises that the publication will be up front about everything that goes on, even giving readers behind-the-scenes pictures and videos from photo shoots that will be available on their Tumblr. Seventeen magazine also vows that they will do the following for it’s’ readers:

  • Celebrate every kind of beauty in our pages. Without a range of body types, skin tones, heights and hair textures, the magazine–and the world–would be boring!
  • Always feature real girls and models that are healthy. Regardless of clothing size, being healthy is about honoring your natural shape.
  • Help you make the best choices for your body–food that fuels you, exercise that energizes you–so you can feel your absolute best each day.
  • Give you the confidence to walk into any room and own it. Say bye-bye to those nagging insecurities that you’re not good enough or pretty enough–they’re holding you back from being awesome in the world.
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