|Selena Gomez's photo was obviously edited to|
change her facial structure.
Here's the thing: Seventeen doesn't alter body shapes or facial structure. Also, to correct all the misleading information I've seen out there, the eight-point Seventeen Magazine Body Peace Treaty Shoket said all members of the staff signed is a list of guidelines that will remind them of their goals and the promise they've made to their readers. Although it falls under the umbrella of the magazine's Body Peace Project, it's not the same as the Body Peace Treaty, which is something readers sign to make a commitment to feel better about themselves. Also, Seventeen has always posted unedited behind-the-scenes pictures from shoots on their Tumblr, even though a lot of sites are reporting this like it's something new.
Personally, Seventeen did the opposite for me of what Bluhm is claiming it's doing to teen girls, which is why it's my dream to work there someday. I used to have terribly low self-esteem before I opened the pages of that magazine and saw girls who looked just like me in the pages. Now, I'm a motivational speaker and self-esteem columnist. I owe a lot of my growth in self-confidence to how dedicated Seventeen is to realism. I could go on and on about how it helped me become a better person, but we'll save that for another post.
I totally applaud Bluhm on her perseverance and dedication to a cause, but she and the young women she's working with picked Seventeen for the wrong reasons. Why? Because it's the easiest target. Apparently, they have plans to keep this going, which is why they tackled the easiest fix first.
“Seventeen was supposed to be a jumping off point to reach all print media, so we’re continuing on with that goal,” Emma Stydahar, 17, told Adweek.
I'm not saying Seventeen is perfect, but you don't get a lot of publicity for your second or third attempt when you're working on the same cause. I wish they'd started with a publication that alters body and facial structure using Photoshop, like Teen Vogue. (Just look at what they did to Selena Gomez above!) A lot of teens also read women's magazine, most of which have come under scrutiny at some point for photo manipulation. Getting Seventeen to promise to be more transparent was a small step in the right direction, but using that publicity to get a fashion-oriented magazine to completely change their photo editing ethics would've been a huge leap.
Do you think magazines go too far with photo manipulation? What's the worst case you've ever seen?
F.Y.I. When we have the resources to do photo shoots one day, we will never use photo manipulation to change facial structure or body shapes. We celebrate real beauty.
Brianti Downing is the Editor-in-Chief of Feather Magazine and the Blog Editor for Ruffled Feathers. You can read her personal blog and follow her on Twitter.