Cool it on the altered images, US teen tells magazine

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 03 2012 11:34 AM | Updated as of May 03 2012 07:35 PM

NEW YORK - A high school student from Maine handed a 15,000-name petition to Seventeen on Wednesday, urging the popular magazine for teenage girls to ease back on the use of retouched photo spreads.

Julia Bluhm, 14, who launched the online petition, urged Seventeen, whose US edition sells two million copies a month, "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," wrote the aspiring ballet dancer, whose petition on was supported by the SPARK Movement, a girls' advocacy group.

"To girls today, the word 'pretty' means skinny and blemish-free. Why is that, when so few girls actually fit into such a narrow category? It's because the media tells us that 'pretty' girls are impossibly thin with perfect skin."

There was no immediate reaction from Seventeen's publisher Hearst, but editor-in-chief Ann Shoket announced via Twitter that she had "a deep convo" with Bluhm "about girls and the media ... So proud of her!"

Seventeen is published in several countries worldwide. This month the US edition features teen actress Chloe Grace Moretz, a Justin Bieber "bonus section" and "the secret to looking hot in your bikini."

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