Teenager Wins! Seventeen's Use of Photoshop Curtailed. Teen Vogue is Next!
Photoshop, the digital photography software program which thins waists, removes cellulite and dimpled thighs, enhances faces toward wrinkleless beauty, adds ribs, darkens and adds eyelashes, removes blemishes and generally makes them look fabulous, is loved by celebrities almost as much as their plastic surgeons. Of course, for the average woman and/or teen who has to live up to such iconic standards, the unreality Photoshop creates can be hurtful and demoralizing.
Not even celebrities look half as good as Photoshop makes them appear. This is a fact that few are conscious of because enhanced images (whether Photoshopped or surgically created) pound us like hammers from billboards, glittering magazine pages, movie and TV screens and Youtube clips. Soon, we believe that we can never look as beautiful or thin as Victoria Beckham or Scarlett Johansson. And of course, they barely recognize themselves after being Photoshopped. But who cares when there's money to be made?
It was inevitable that someone would finally react in a positive way to hammer and smash Photoshop's smoke and mirror effects.The surprise is in the who that picked up the jackhammer and fought back: Julia Bluhm, a 14-year-old Maine teen.
Julia Bluhm was disgusted with Photoshop's emotional battering ram of fake images posted in teen magazines whose combined effect belittled young girls. Her target was Seventeen, a teen magazine that has the largest circulation and impact. Seventeen's images of rail thin and flawless beauties is one of numerous magazines and interactive media that have encouraged the thinspiration movement (which many feel is one inch away from an ad hoc organization of anorexics).
After canvassing students in her high school cafeteria about the impact of the magazine's beauty images enhanced by Photoshop, Bluhm decided to post a petition on Change.org against Seventeen's policy of digitally altering photographs. After 86,000 signed her petition (including the author of this article who has written pieces for Technorati about the dangers of the uber thin body image in media) Bluhm took the petition to the doors of Seventeen where she and other petitioners protested outside the magazine's Manhattan offices and drawing attention to the fake image bludgeon, smashed back by setting up a fake photo shoot.Continued on the next page