In a note, Shoket wrote that she had “heard from some girls who were concerned that we’d strayed from our promise to show real girls as they really are. A lot of the comments were about Photoshopping or digitally enhancing photos.”
A teenager, Julia Bluhm, had started a petition calling for Seventeen to “commit to printing one unaltered — real — photo spread per month,” Metro noted.
Her petition reads:
“I want to see regular girls that look like me in a magazine that’s supposed to be for me.
“For the sake of all the struggling girls all over America, who read Seventeen and think these fake images are what they should be, I’m stepping up. I know how hurtful these photoshopped images can be. I’m a teenage girl, and I don’t like what I see. None of us do.”
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Bluhm’s Change.org petition currently has more than 85,000 signatures, and since Seventeen‘s announcement, Bluhm wrote “This is a huge victory, and I’m so unbelievable happy.”
While Shoket acknowledged that Seventeen “like all magazines’ will make small changes to photos, such as touching up “stray hairs, a few zits, random bra straps,” she announced a “Body Peace Treaty” against altering bodies.
The “treaty” opens with “We vow to…” and list a variety of promises, including
- “Never change girls’ body or face shapes. (Never have, never will.)”
- “Always feature real girls and models who are healthy. Regardless of clothing size, being healthy is about honoring your natural shape.”
- “Be totally up-front about what goes into our photo shoots. You can go behind the scenes on our Tumblr (seventeen.tumblr.com) and see the whole shebang!”
Along with the promises, Seventeen showed a mocked-up before and after from one of Seventeen‘s photos showing how the image was altered (to edit out “flyaway hair,” “change background,” “smooth fold,” and “remove bra strap”). See here on CNN’s website the Seventeen promise and “Body Peace Treaty.”
NPR noted that since the promise “never have, never will” against Photoshopping was made by editorial, there may still be “digitally enhanced advertisements.”
In her “How We Won” note on top of her petition, Bluhm noted that there’s now a petition asking Teen Vogue “to follow in Seventeen‘s footsteps.” More than 15,000 people have signed the petition, “Teen Vogue: Give Us Images of Real Girls!“