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The Women’s Media Center Congratulates SPARK Partners and Girl Activist for Seventeen Magazine’s Pledge to Show Real Images of Girls

July 3, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Women’s Media Center congratulates our partners with the Sexualization, Protest: Action, Resistance, Knowledge (SPARK) movement and girl activist Julia Bluhm after Seventeen Magazine announced yesterday that it will show real girls without photoshopping their images.

“I support and congratulate Julia Bluhm, SPARK and all the girls who petitioned Seventeen," said Gloria Steinem, co-founder of The Women’s Media Center. "They have triumphed over false standards that contribute to eating disorders and self-hatred, and made Seventeen a leader in celebrating real girls. I am very proud of our partnership in the SPARK Movement. One magazine in our corner, more to go!”

Earlier this year, 14-year-old Julia Bluhm presented Seventeen Magazine with her petition asking them to show girls real pictures of themselves and commit to featuring one unaltered image a month. The petition garnered widespread media attention and over 49,000 signatures. Bluhm also led a demonstration outside the offices of the magazine’s Midtown office.

Bluhm’s effort is part of SPARK, a girl-fueled activist movement to demand an end to the sexualization of women and girls in media. As a member of SPARK’s leadership committee, The Women’s Media Center collaborates with hundreds of girls ages 13-22 and more than 60 national organizations to reject the commodified, sexualized images of girls in media and support the development of girls’ healthy sexuality and self-esteem.

“Girls and their allies are taking action to expose and hold media accountable for sexism,” said Julie Burton, President of the Women’s Media Center. “This victory shows us that it may be the way it is, but it is not the way it has to be.”

Jamia Wilson, Vice President of Programs for the Women’s Media Center, said the organization is “thrilled to be working in a girl-fueled movement and an intergenerational partnership where girl leaders are talking back, stepping up, and speaking out by creating their own media, leading media accountability campaigns, organizing in their communities, and writing opinion pieces.”

Wilson said The Women’s Media Center is looking forward to remaining actively involved in future media campaigns with SPARK, including a new petition by two SPARK bloggers targeting Teen Vogue to ask them to make the same commitment as Seventeen.

The Women’s Media Center was founded in 2005 by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem. The Women’s Media Center works to make women and girls visible and powerful in the media and level the playing field. It does this through media advocacy campaigns, media monitoring for sexism, creating original content, training women and girls to participate in media, and connecting women experts with the media. The Center has offices in Washington, D.C., and New York City.

For more information, contact Cristal Williams Chancellor, Media Relations Manager, or 202-587-1636.