By Emma Stydahar
The past few months have been very exciting in terms of how women and girls are portrayed in print magazines.
Firstly, after SPARK staged a protest in support of SPARK member Julia Bluhm’s petition urging Seventeen Magazine to change their photoshop policy, in this months issue of Seventeen editor-in-chief Ann Shoket announced that the face and body sizes of the models in their magazines will not be digitally altered in any of the spreads in the magazine. Congrats guys– SPARK WON ! We’re so excited about Seventeen’s new photoshop policy. Teen girls not being exposed to the unrealistic, digitally disfigured bodies and faces in their Seventeen magazines definitly has the potential to change the way they view their own bodies. But to make this really impactful, we need to expand this change.
Secondly, Vogue has recently announced that as of their June issue they will be adhere to specific rules regarding models age and weight. No models under the age of 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder will be hired or appear in any of Vogue’s publication (it is unclear if the age rule will or will not apply to Teen Vogue).
Now we’re on to the next step. Vogue’s new model rules are an admirable first step, as long as they continue to be adhered to. But now we want Teen Vogue to follow Seventeen’s lead. In our new petition on change.org we’re asking Teen Vogue to make a public statement promising to not digitally alter the face or body sizes of ANY model who appears in their magazine.
By signing this petition you are sending a message: real girls are really beautiful WITHOUT being digitally altered. And not only are you sending that message to the teen magazines, your sending it to the young women who read these publications, who have been programmed to believe that because their bodies don’t measure up to the photoshopped models in these magazines that they are not beautiful enough, not thin enough, not good enough.