Mummy Buzz


Seventeen Won't Stop Photoshopping

Where Have the Real Girls Gone?

Thanks but no thanks. That was pretty much the gist of the meeting between Ann Shoket, the editor of teen fashion rag Seventeen, and Julia Bluhm, the 14-year-old from Maine who's been crusading to curb the magazine's misleading use of Photoshop.  

Although Seventeen is by no means the only culprit in the fashion industry to digitally manipulate its images, rendering its models unrealistically perfect, it differs crucially in that its target market is teenaged girls. 

Bluhm approached Shoket after collecting a petition of more than 25,000 signatures, although she did offer a compromise: to use just one non-Photoshopped spread per issue. Wow. 

Though Seventeen spokesperson lauded Bluhm's efforts and claimed that its magazine features "real girls in our pages and there is no other magazine that highlights such a diversity of size, shape, skin tone and ethnicity," curiously, there was no mention of Photoshop use. 

Although Bluhm was grateful for the opportunity to be heard, a real victory would have spelled the end of digitally enhanced images or, at the least, a concession -- a single Photoshopped spread per issue. 

Meanwhile models keep getting thinner (impossibly, 'digitally' thin) and young girls continue to fall prey to disordered eating as they try to emulate what they see on catwalks and magazines like Seventeen. 

Researchers at the University of Chicago have found some success in treating anorexia neurosa with the anti-psychotic drug Olanzapine. And Vogue magazine plans to ban models under the age of 16 as well as those with "visible signs of eating disorders" from its spreads. 

Meanwhile Bluhm's petition continues to grow, with well over 45,000 signatures. How many signatures will be enough to make magazine editors sit up and listen to the people?

So what are you waiting for? Do your civic duty and sign the thing already.