Julia Bluhm, a 14-year-old resident of Waterville, ME, petitioned Seventeen magazine to feature girls as how they really appear and not doctor images by airbrushing out natural blemishes such as acne. Bluhm used social media to raise awareness and garnered 85,000 signatures for her petition on Change.org.
After much media coverage and social media buzz, Bluhm got a sit-down with Seventeen EIC Ann Shoket and a promise through the magazine’s “Body Peace Treaty” to “always feature real girls and models who are healthy.”
Industry experts extol the virtue of brands listening to their customers. Seventeen occupies a unique position, with its target female teen audience. And it markets a youthful version of glamour. The prevailing cultural norm dictates that flaws are anything but glamorous.