Julia Bluhm petitions Seventeen magazine to publish unaltered photo spreads

julia-bluhm-seventeen-protest.jpgEighth grader Julia Bluhm of Waterville, Maine is taking her objections to the sexualization of teen girls straight to the top.

Two weeks ago, Bluhm put a petition on Change.org to implore the girls' magazine to publish one unaltered photo spread a month in their magazine. Her profile on Change describes her as a feminist who "wants to put a stop to sexualization and stereotypes of girls in the media." She is a blogger with www.sparksummit.com, which fights against sexualized images of women and girls in the media and her petition did what she hoped - caught the attention of Seventeen's editor-in-chief Ann Shoket, who invited Julia to meet with her Thursday morning (May 3). (Pictured above are Julia, middle, and friends outside the Seventeen headquarters.)

Seventeen says in a statement, "We're proud of Julia for being so passionate about an issue - it's exactly the kind of attitude we encourage in our readers - so we invited her to our office to meet with editor in chief Ann Shoket this morning. They had a great discussion, and we believe that Julia left understanding that Seventeen celebrates girls for being their authentic selves, and that's how we present them. We feature real girls in our pages and there is no other magazine that highlights such a diversity of size, shape, skin tone and ethnicity."

After the meeting, Julia released a statement through Change.org: "The fact that Seventeen's editor-in-chief met with me in person proves that the voices of teen girls everywhere are getting through. While I would still change some of the ways Seventeen portrays girls, I'm encouraged that they're willing to listen to me and the 30,000 people who've signed my petition. Seventeen's invited me to work with them on this issue, which means we girls - Seventeen's readers - are finally being heard loud and clear. It's really exciting."

As of 10:25 a.m. ET on May 3, the petition has 42,000 signatures. Good for you, Julia! We signed your petition.

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