NEWS: SPARK & Teens #KeepItReal

I’m a grown woman. One who can make decisions on what I like, don’t like, don’t want to buy, don’t want to buy into, and who I want to be. As a teenager, that was a whole other different story. I was just trying to figure out who I was, where I belonged, and who I wanted to be. I was easily influenced and often mislead by what would make me “popular” or liked by others.

In the end, I realized that being a teenager sucked. I hated my body and thought I was fat. I had crushes on boys who dated the girls who wore skimpy clothes and a lot of makeup. Girls that I obviously didn’t look like. I stared into magazines like Seventeen, Sassy, YM, and Teen-hoping one day I’ll look like the models.

Today, isn’t much different. Not only do teen girls have the same issues, but it seems the media is pushing a lot harder. There isn’t much body diversity, the clothes are skimpier, and the cosmetic ads are booming. And “sex” is always a hot topic and one that sells.

I wasn’t planning to write anything today, but a simple tweet changed that.

You can watch the video here…

image via SPARK Facebook page

Two teen girls, Julia Bluhm and Izzy Labbe, take a copy of Seventeen Magazine into their cafeteria and ask classmates how that issue of the magazine makes them feel or what they observed. Most of the girls commented on how the models looked “too skinny” and that real girls don’t look like that. Even the boys got in on the action, by saying the same thing. Photoshop was mentioned a lot. It’s a look into what our teens think.

You may remember Julia who started a petition asking Seventeen Magazine “to commit to printing one unaltered — real — photo spread per month. I want to see regular girls that look like me in a magazine that’s supposed to be for me.” She,along with Izzy, is also a member of the SPARK ( Sexualization Protest: Action, Resistance, Knowledge) team.

Today, over 84,000 have signed the petition and Seventeen Magazine has agreed to stop altering girl’s faces and bodies! READ ABOUT IT HERE…

Here’s what Julia had to say on her petition page:

Seventeen listened! They’re saying they won’t use photoshop to digitally alter their models! This is a huge victory, and I’m so unbelievably happy. Another petition is being started by SPARK activists Emma and Carina, targeting Teen Vogue and I will sign it. If we can be heard by one magazine, we can do it with another. We are sparking a change!

To sign Emma and Carina’s petition, which asks Teen Vogue to follow in Seventeen’s footsteps and make the vow not to alter girls, go to

SPARK along with Miss Representation, LoveSocial, I Am That Girl, and Endangered Bodies recently started The Keep It Real Challenge! They asked readers to “create a firestorm of social media telling magazines that we’re not buying their idealized, retouched images any more. We’re telling magazines that we want them to Keep It Real.” If you have a second visit Twitter and check out the hash tag #KeepItReal or on Instagram #KeepItRealChallenge You can also follow SPARK on Twitter at @SPARKsummit. It really is social media at it’s best.

After watching the videos, reading their posts, and tweets I realized something…teenage girls are incredibly brave, tenacious, and tired of being told what is beautiful by the media. Yes, there is still a lot of work to be done and a lot of teens to reach out to. But, this is a huge step!

I want to know what you think!
If you were a teen, would you join a movement like this?
Do you think there will be any real change on Seventeen Magazine’s part?

Leave your comments below! 


  • This is amazing! So proud of those girls. I signed the petition, tweeted and liked on FB. I’m optimistic about Teen Vogue listening now that Seventeen has made the brave decision to change their ways. It only takes one to lead to the way and change the tide. Awesome job to these girls and much respect to Seventeen magazine for hearing their voices and realizing the damage they can prevent by simply showing REAL girls.


      Thank you for the comment!! And I agree that they are doing an awesome job! 

  • bubblyjabbers

    Do you think that Seventeen will be more selective when they choose their models, then?