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Watch Out, Teen Vogue – The Protesters Are Descending!

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Emma Stydahar Carina CruzYou’ve got to love teen activists. Take Julia Bluhm, for instance, the 14-year-old from Maine who got Seventeen magazine to change its Photoshopping policies so that girls are no longer airbrushed to death. Amazingly, Bluhm got 84,000 people to sign an online petition; staged a demonstration outside Seventeen‘s offices; and even met with editor-in-chief Anne Shoket, who at first refused to even admit that the mag airbrushes its models (!). Bluhm persisted and thanks to her efforts, the teen glossy created a whole new “Body Peace Treaty” that includes being upfront about what goes into their photo shoots.

Two enterprising teens are now following Bluhm’s lead. This time around, Carina Cruz, 16, and Emma Stydahar, 17, are going after Teen Vogue. The girls have launched a similar petition on Change.org – which so far has nearly 28,000 signatures – asking the glossy to “Follow Seventeen‘s example and pledge not to alter any model’s body or face and to celebrate beauty in all its forms.”

“It’s time for an end to the digitally enhanced, unrealistic ‘beauty’ we see in the pages of magazines,” they write on Change.org. “We are demanding that teen magazines stop altering natural bodies and faces so that real girls can be the new standard of beauty.”

Much like Seventeen first responded, Teen Vogue has already issued a statement via its PR rep Erin Kaplan: “Teen Vogue makes a conscious and continuous effort to promote a positive body image among our readers. We feature healthy models on the pages of our magazine and shoot dozens of non-models and readers every year and do not retouch them to alter their body size,” it says in part.

Cruz and Stydahar plan to deliver their signatures to Teen Vogue‘s offices today. They’re also planning a “mock fashion shoot” outside the office, and  they’re hoping to meet with face-to-face with EIC Amy Astley to “discuss if and when they’ll let their readers know that they’ll commit to not altering faces and body sizes and to including diversity in their pages.”

We’ll be eagerly watching to see what transpires, and we’re wishing Cruz and Stydahar all the best with their endeavor. Kudos to the them for working to create change – one that will no doubt impact how how millions of teenage girls view themselves.

(Photo: change.org)