Julia Bluhm, a 14-year-old girl, has kick-started a campaign on Change.org calling on Seventeen Magazine to cut back on the amount of Photoshopping they do in each issue. The move, Bluhm hopes, will help promote a positive body image among teen readers.
"I started this petition to help girls see that they're not alone. Seventeen Magazine is supposed to be a relatable magazine, right? How can we relate to computer altered photos? Seventeen is popular with my friends and lots of teen girls. If they agree to print one unaltered spread a month, they could start a trend that will help so many girls like me feel better about their bodies."
The campaign comes on the heels of Glamour Magazine's promise to limit the use of retouching. Last month, the mag surveyed 1,000 U.S. women and found while almost 60 per cent of ladies think it's okay to alter personal photos, they're getting skeptical of media outlets who retouch images to no end.
In a recent blog post, Glamour's Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive promised this: "As your responses [made] clear, retouching has its limits -- or should -- and Glamour plans to take a stronger role in setting ours. You told us you don’t want little things like freckles and scars removed, and we agree; those are the kinds of details that make each woman on the planet unique and beautiful."
But what of Canadian glossies? While the issue of retouching hasn't been raised against Canadian fashion magazines like Flare, Fashion or ELLE, that doesn't mean it isn't an issue north of the border. In fact, Canadian girls are feeling the pressure to look and feel a certain way -- just like their American counterparts (and magazines, media and ads could be to blame).
According to research done by Dove Canada's Real Truth About Beauty campaign, girls feel the pressure to be "more beautiful" by the age of 14. "By the time they are 29, this number increases to 96 per cent. After the age of 14 girls increasingly become their own worst beauty critic. While only 10 per cent of girls 10 to 14 put pressure on themselves to be beautiful, this number climbs to 59 per cent of women 18 to 64."
The good news is some Canadian companies are cutting back on the model retouching they do. JACOB, the Canadian clothing retailer, stopped altering images of models used in their lingerie ads in 2010.
"As a socially responsible company, JACOB has always made an effort to promote a healthy image of the female body. By adopting an official policy and broadcasting it publicly, we hope to reverse the trend in digital photo manipulation that has become excessive in our industry,” said spokesperson and Communications Director Cristelle Basmaji in a press release.
What do you think of Bluhm's campaign: Should magazine's ban the practice of Photoshopping or is limiting its use enough? Let us know in the comments below.
These ads are what happen when Photoshop fails.