Random Act of Kid-ness: Petition to End the Sexualization of Girls in the Media

This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Walterville, Maine, where 14 year old Julia Bluhm started a petition on Change.org to get Seventeen Magazine to stop manipulating images of girls’ bodies. Manipulated images can contribute to eating disorders, depression and low self-esteem among girls as young as 8, so Julia hoped that her petition would help curb some of these very serious problems.

Julia Bluhm of Waterville, Maine, holds up a copy of Seventeen magazine as she leads a protest outside Hearst Corp. headquarters in New York in May. Seventeen's Editor-in-Chief Ann Shoket responded to the campaign in the August issue with a letter acknowledging readers' concerns and vowing never to alter girls' bodies or faces, giving Bluhm more than she'd asked for.

Her petition worked, because magazine editor Ann Shoket has made a promise to Julia that if Seventeen does manipulate images, they will post before and after pictures on the magazine’s Tumblr for full transparency. Shoket also wrote up a “body peace treaty” that says the magazine will always feature healthy girls and models, regardless of clothing size.

While Julia and her fellow bloggers and petitioners do not see Ann’s response as a total victory, they are working hard to make even more progress. They have already started another petition targeting Teen Vogue.

We love when kids take a stand for what they care about! Read more about Julia’s story here.

Do you know a kid working hard for what he or she believes in? Let us know!

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