Julia Bluhm Takes on the Media in Defense of Teenage Girls

Julia Bluhm and Friends

The overuse of photoshop, sexualization of women and low self-esteem issues are all just part of the everyday routine, right? Well, eighth grader Julia Bluhm from Maine has spoken up to say that no, that is very, very wrong.

In fact, Bluhm has taken it upon herself to challenge the media and their skewed portrayal of beauty and its impact on girls’ mental health.

“I’ve always noticed how a lot of images in magazines look photoshopped,” she said. “Girls shouldn’t compare themselves to pictures in magazines, because they are fake.”

Now, Bluhm has launched a petition asking Seventeen, one of her favorite style magazines, to feature at least one un-touched, un-edited photo shoot each month. “They have already done a lot to help girls improve their body image,” she explained. “Their Body Peace feature is great. I thought that they could take it one step further with an unaltered photo spread.”

As a means to achieve her goal, Bluhm has led several protests and started a blog on the subject. She also joined SPARK, an organization that helps teens and young women reestablish the gender’s image in the media.

“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,” she wrote in her petition.

“Here’s what a lot of girls don’t know,” she continues. “Those ‘pretty women’ that we see in magazines are fake. They’re often photoshopped, airbrushed, edited to look thinner, and to appear like they have perfect skin. A girl you see in a magazine probably looks a lot different in real life… I’ve been fighting to stop magazines, toy companies, and other big businesses from creating products, photo spreads and ads that hurt girls and break our self-esteem… I’ve learned that we have the power to fight back.”