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Media Spot-Lite: Change.org Vs. Fake Photo Spreads

May 7, 2012

I’m signed up to get petition emails from Change.org, a “social action platform that empowers anyone, anywhere to start, join, and win campaigns for social change. Millions of people sign petitions on Change.org each month on thousands of issues, winning campaigns every day to advance change locally and globally,” and am consistently impressed with the types of movements that they support and help gain momentum.

Ironically, right after creating my last post about Celebrities that started out with a link to a photoshopping expose, I received this petition in my inbox:

In September of 2008, Miley Cyrus appeared on the cover of Seventeen magazine looking visibly thinner than she did in real life — she was fifteen years old at the time.

Julia Bluhm is 13 years old, and she says she feels the pressures created by these fake photos every day.

“I’m in a ballet class with a bunch of high school girls,” Julia says. “On a daily basis I hear comments like: ‘It’s a fat day,’ and ‘I ate well today, but I still feel fat.'”

That’s why Julia started a petition on Change.org asking Seventeen to run one unaltered photo spread per month. Click here to sign Julia’s petition.

Seventeen‘s editors freely admit they retouch photos — one of the magazine’s editors even wrote, “You know how everyone says celebrities look good in photos because they’re airbrushed? Well, it’s true!”

But these fake photos have a real impact on young girls. Nearly half of girls between first and third grade say they want to be thinner. And by the age of ten, 81% of girls say they’re “afraid of getting fat.”

Some magazines are beginning to respond to this crisis. In February, Glamour magazine asked its readers whether using photoshop to “make someone look 5 pounds thinner was ok.” After the overwhelming majority of readers said no, the magazine made a pledge not to use photoshop to “alter body size” on any of its featured models or celebs. Now readers will see pictures of women who look more like them.

Seventeen magazine can lead the way in changing this for teens, too, and they can start with just one photo spread a month. Julia thinks that this small step could be the start of something big for girls, no matter their size.

Click here to add your name to Julia’s petition asking Seventeen to run one unaltered photo spread per month.

How great! And it’s so simple, one photo spread a month! It will be interesting to see how Seventeen reacts to this. When you read the original petition letter, the organizer states “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 photoshopped, 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.

It’s about time we had a movement like this. I signed, will you?

(Image courtesy of Change.org)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Joe permalink
    May 11, 2012 9:46 pm

    great post! thanks for bringing this to our attention

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