Back in May, we told you about Julia Bluhm, the 14-year-old who petitioned Seventeen with 25,000 signatures to stop photoshopping young models within its pages. Well two months later, the magazine has given a gutsy and admirable response. In the upcoming August issue, editor-in-chief Ann Shoket’s letter includes a “body peace treaty” promising readers that the magazine “will never change girls’ body or face shape” and it will only have images of “girls and models who are healthy.” Huzzah!
The eight-point pact, signed by the entire staff, also has the magazine promising to “be totally upfront about [their] photo shoots,” which means that they’ll be showing behind-the-scenes video and photos on their tumblr. It’s an important step in the right direction, and we’re hopeful that this attitude about showing real bodies will carry over to some of the more mature women’s magazines as well.
It’s worth noting, though, that the magazine didn’t say that it will patently stop photoshopping overall. There will still be some digital enhancements to images—namely cleaning up wrinkles in clothing, getting rid of fly-aways, toning down zits, and so on; meaning that it’s not a complete coup for Julia Bluhm and her petition, which asked for a full stop to all photoshopping. But, it’s perhaps understandable since most magazine-ready images need a little bit of retouching here and there to give them a serious pop (Seventeen included a diagram in Shoket’s letter to show exactly how they’ll be re-tooling their photos). Either way, the magazine has set a fantastic precedent for printed images moving forward and we’re really excited about it.
What do you think about these new developments in the Great Photoshop Debate?
Do you think photoshopped pictures should be labeled?