Celebs, editors and health professionals have called on magazines to halt the excessive use of airbrushing for its negative impact on impressionable teen girls. Now teens themselves are joining the conversation, saying that enough is enough.
13-year-old Julia Bluhm submitted a petition through Change.org entitled "Seventeen Magazine: Give Girls Images of Real Girls!" Bluhm, a middle school student from Maine, writes that the constant ambush of overly Photoshopped images has caused her and her peers to develop low self-esteem about their own bodies:
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.
That's why I'm asking Seventeen Magazine to commit to printing one unaltered -- real -- photo spread per month. I want to see regular girls that look like me in a magazine that's supposed to be for me.
It's a point well-taken, considering more and more adults have begun to demand the same. Last June, the American Medical Association adopted a policy against the altering of photographs "in a manner that could promote unrealistic expectations of appropriate body image." In February, Cindi Leive of Glamour told readers that her magazine would take a stronger stand and ask photographers "not to manipulate body size in the photos we commission, even if a celebrity or model requests a digital diet." In March, Intelligent Life mag published an un-airbrushed cover of Cate Blanchett, using a photo that "is at least trying to reflect real life."
Of course, there is still plenty of Photoshop afoot. But to hear teen girls acknowledge the damaging effects of airbrushing themselves makes the issue more urgent -- "all the struggling girls all over America," writes Bluhm, are affected.
Read Bluhm's petition to Seventeen at Change.org and, if you feel so inclined, add your name to the 7,000 already listed. Do you agree with Bluhm's sentiments or even witnessed them firsthand? Let us know in the comments.
Click through our slideshow to see celebrities who've gone un-photoshopped.