‘Body Peace Treaty’ Results From Teen’s Online Crusade

Seventeen magazine cover
The cover of Seventeen magazine's June/July 2012 issue, featuring "Modern Family" actress Sarah Hyland
Following two months of petition from a popular campaign, Seventeen magazine has made an unprecedented commitment to feature real, unaltered, diverse girls in its publication.

Seventeen Editor-in-Chief Ann Shoket made the recent announcement in response to 14-year-old Julia Bluhm’s Change.org petition that demanded the magazine print at least one photoshop-free spread per month featuring real girls. The petition received nearly 85,000 signatures.

“Recently, I’ve heard from some girls who were concerned that we’d strayed from our promise to show real girls as they really are,” Shoket wrote in her editor’s note in the August edition of Seventeen. “So, we created a Body Peace Treaty for the magazine staff—a list of vows on how we run things here so we always make you feel amazing!

"The “Body Peace Treaty” pledges to “never change girls’ body or face shapes,” to “always feature real girls and models who are healthy,” and to “celebrate every kind of beauty in our pages...a range of body types, skin tones, heights and hair textures.”  

Bluhm was thrilled with the publication’s response. She said her victory has inspired others to petition other magazines adopt a similar policy.

Seventeen listened,” Bluhm said.“They're saying they won’t use photoshop to digitally alter their models. This is a huge victory, and I’m so unbelievably happy. Another petition is being started by SPARK activists Emma and Carina targeting Teen Vogue and I will sign it. If we can be heard by one magazine, we can do it with another. We are sparking a change.”

Bluhm, a member of the girl-led SPARK Movement, and her mother met with Shoket in May to discuss her petition. Bluhm hand-delivered petition signatures to Shoket in May after holding a mock photo shoot with other teen girls outside Seventeen’s headquarters to show they love their bodies “just the way they are.”

Julia started her Change.org campaign because she believed in the power of real girls, exactly as they are. Now, after inspiring thousands of people all over the world, a real girl has forever changed the American teen magazine industry,” said Shelby Knox, senior campaigner at Change.org.

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