Published July 11, 2012
A group of teenage girls staged a protest and runway show in New York City's Times Square Tuesday to challenge Teen Vogue magazine to publicly commit to using “Photoshop-free, diverse images of real girls.”
Inspired by Seventeen Magazine’s recent public pledge to not alter the faces of bodies of girls in the magazine, Carina Cruz and Emma Stydahar of the girl-fueled Spark Movement organized the protest, which took place in the heart of Manhattan. The impetus for Seventeen’s declaration was an anti-Photoshop campaign led by their friend and fellow Spark member Julia Bluhm.
Holding signs and walking arm-in-arm, the girls marched near the offices of Teen Vogue and handed over a petition to the magazine with more than 20,000 signatures.
“When we saw how many supporters we actually had when we did the Seventeen petition, we really just wanted to start expanding and looking at the leader in fashion magazines right now, which is Teen Vogue,” Cruz, 16, told Fox411.
“We’re really trying to do the runway show to show what we want to see in these fashion magazines and it starts with us, the reader,” she added. “Being a young woman of color and dealing with body issues and having naturally curly hair, I’ve always struggled finding a role model in these magazines.”
Her friend and fellow Spark-member Britney Franco, 13, agreed.
“I want teen girls to be shown how they are in magazines so that girls in real life won’t have to feel bad about their bodies when they shouldn’t.”
Teen Vogue’s Senior Public Relations Director Erin Kaplan told Fox411 in a statement,
“Teen Vogue makes a conscious and continuous effort to promote a positive body image among our readers. We feature healthy models on the pages of our magazine and shoot dozens of non-models and readers every year and do not retouch them to alter their body size. Teen Vogue pledges to continue this practice.”
But for Stydahar, 17, Teen Vogue’s statement simply isn’t enough.
“We’re glad Teen Vogue says they don’t Photoshop, but we want them to say it where it matters, in the pages of their magazines.”
Dana Edell, Spark Movement’s Executive Director, praised the girls’ efforts.
“Emma and Carina blow my mind. They’ve been so passionate about this from the beginning and really committed to seeing change happen,” she said. “ It’s thrilling to see young women really take action and really care about something and see the impact and know that they can make a change. It’s incredibly inspiring.”