14-year-old activist to deliver petition to Seventeen Magazine

Seventeen Magazine readers supporting a new campaign on Change.org calling for one un-photoshopped photo spread per month will demonstrate outside of the magazine’s headquarters in New York City on Wednesday morning. A group of young women, led by 14-year-old Waterville middle schooler Julia Bluhm (pictured at left), will stage a mock photo shoot celebrating their bodies just the way they are and deliver 13,000 signatures gathered through social action platform Change.org.

Teenagers will take photos in front of a backdrop outside Seventeen’s headquarters holding dry erase boards with handwritten messages to Seventeen on them. Julia will also be carrying a big box of signatures to deliver to Seventeen Magazine.

Bluhm is leading the campaign on Change.org following Glamour Magazine’s recent decision to stop altering photos of models to make them appear slimmer. Bluhm, an eighth grade ballet dancer, says she hopes Seventeen will decide to follow suit to promote positive body image amongst their teen readership.

The Bangor Daily News has tried to get an interview with Bluhm, but between school and her work with the petition, she’s been too busy to take the time to talk.

“I’m a teenage girl, and I know how it feels to think you’re not good enough,” said Bluhm, who launched the campaign on Change.org. “I want girls to be able to feel good about themselves, and being able to relate to the images in the magazines we read will help.”

“I started this petition to help girls see that they’re not alone,” Bluhm added. “Seventeen Magazine is supposed to be a relatable magazine, right? How can we relate to computer altered photos?”

Emily Burnham

About Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native, a UMaine graduate, a proud Bangorian and an arts and lifestyle writer for the Bangor Daily News, where she's worked since 2004. She reports on everything from local bands to local food, from media and the Internet to theater and dance. In her quest for stories, she's seen countless concerts and plays, been lobster fishing, interviewed celebrities, hung out with water buffalo and played in a ukulele orchestra, to name just a few. She's interested in everything -- especially if it happens in Maine. She welcomes any and all feedback or suggestions for stories.