by Adeniyi Abdul
The influence of media on the body image and self-esteem of females has been under increasing scrutiny in recent times. Fashion magazines in particular have been at the forefront of this, with several of them being criticised for the use of photoshop to make girls look slimmer, or the use of skinny models on their pages.
Well a couple of young girls decided they had had enough of this and were going to make a move to change things, with 14 year old Julia Bluhm successfully getting Seventeen magazine to agree to stop airbrushing models. Editor Ann Shoket included a letter and body peace treaty in the August issue of the magazine that states Seventeen will “never change girls’ body or face shapes,” and “celebrate every kind of beauty in our pages.” This development encouraged two other young girls, 17-year-old Emma Stydahar and her friend 16-year-old Carina Cruz to make a move towards getting Teen Vogue to do the same.
“I just remember leafing through the mag every month thinking ‘I wish I had her waist… I wish I had her hair,” Stydahar said. “We’re really hoping to try and get magazines to realize that they should have a diverse array of models.”
Teen Vogue Editor Amy Astley was apparently not having any of it, as according to the girls, their meeting was “a lot of telling us we hadn’t done our homework, and that Teen Vogue is a great magazine, who is being unfairly accused.”
The girls staged a mock red carpet show against Teen Vogue and met with Astley when they delivered a petition bearing more than 28,000 signatures after their Times Square protest near the offices of the magazine. The girls, however, were simply given copies of Teen Vogue and told to use them to learn more.
“It was kind of shocking how rude they were to us,” said Cruz.
Rudeness at a fashion magazine? We. Are. Shocked.