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Seventeen And Photoshop: A Step Forward or Back?

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You've probably heard of the petition a 14-year-old girl started, called "Seventeen Magazine: Give Girls Images Of Real Girls!". Did you sign it?

HuffPost Teen writes:

"Facing pressure from teen girls demanding truthful images of young women, Seventeen magazine has vowed to 'celebrate every kind of beauty' and feature only photographs of real girls and models who are healthy. Editor-in-chief Ann Shoket made the announcement in her editor's letter in the August issue, and her note marks a major triumph for the thousands of teen girls who took part in a petition for the magazine to show images of real girls."

So what do you think of this milestone? Seriously, stop and think... Is this truly a great announcement?

When I stop and think about it, contrary to many people, I believe it really isn't that great. Sure, they're not using Photoshop. But what did we use before Photoshop? Makeup. And lots of it!
(Click here to see the now famous "Dove Evolution" video, which transforms a regular girl into a cover girl in one minute.)

So back to Photoshop and makeup. You always hear "when one door closes another one opens," and that's the case with anything. So is that to say that now that Seventeen isn't using Photoshop, they will now just go overboard on the makeup end of things? That seems to be case, in my opinion.

But perhaps I'm wrong. Seventeen vowed to "celebrate every kind of beauty," but does that include average teenagers who are just going to hang out with friends? You've probably seen the covers of Seventeen magazine and everyone who graces those covers look flawless. But is that how they really look?

Take Demi Lovato, for example -- this is how she looks on the cover of Seventeen. And this how she looks regularly. There is a distinct difference, but that is not to say that she looks 'ugly' in the second (au naturel) photo -- she just looks normal!

The American Medical Association denounces Photoshop for being a main contributor to adolescent health problems. Seemingly flawless models, Photoshop and makeup can all lead to mental health problems in teens, like low self-esteem and depression.

It's great that Seventeen is now taking a huge step forward and not Photoshopping their models -- well, as long as Seventeen showcases real beauty and not the sociological norm for beauty.

My question is... Will they celebrate everyday, average teenagers, with no makeup and no Photoshop? Or will heavy makeup be the new Photoshop?

Either way, even if Seventeen now just goes a bit overboard with makeup, doing away with Photoshop is huge step forward to get real beauty back.

What do you think? Tweet me @PatrickMott.