A teen girl takes bold action to help her peers feel better about themselves.
Fourteen-year-old Julia Bluhm was concerned that millions of girls in the US are negatively impacted by the airbrushed, retouched photos found in many teen magazines.
So she launched an online petition challenging Seventeen magazine to publish at least one un-retouched photo in its magazine each issue.
Julia, who is an 8th grader from Waterville Maine , says "I've always noticed how a lot of the images in magazines look Photoshopped. Girls shouldn't compare themselves to pictures in magazines, because they are fake."
In a press release publicizing her online petition, Julia wrote, "I'm a teenage girl, and I know how it feels to think you're not good enough. I want girls to be able to feel good about themselves."
After Julia delivered nearly 50,000 signatures to Seventeen's New York City offices, she also met with the magazine's editor in chief, Ann Shoket.
But Seventeen won’t do what Julia is asking. Margot Magowan, a columnist at sfgate.com, thinks she knows why.
She writes, "It may not seem like a big request, but if Seventeen published one un-photoshopped picture of a teen per month, it would be pretty obvious that all of the other photos in the magazine are photoshopped."
Assuming the tone of a Seventeen editor, Margot says, "If [we] made girls that aware that they are aspiring to look like the non-humans who our 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.
Margot’s satirical comments are right on target. If you’re the parent of a teen girl, help her to see that God thinks she’s beautiful just the way she is. A great resource is the website “virtuousreality.com” produced by author and teen expert Vicki Courtney.
I’m Bill Maier for family-friendly, commercial free, WBCL.