'We're being unfairly accused': Teen Vogue dismisses 14-year-old girls during meeting after anti-Photoshop protest
Carina Cruz and Emma Stydahar want 'real girls to be the new standard of beauty'
Teenagers' handed over
petition to editors with over 20,000 supporting signatures
22:04 GMT, 12 July 2012
A group of teenage girls staged a protest outside Teen Vogue's offices on Wednesday, asking the fashion magazine to publicly commit to using 'Photoshop-free, diverse images of real girls.'
Holding signs and walking arm-in-arm, Carina Cruz and Emma Stydahar of the girl-fueled Spark Movement, staged a mock runway show in the middle of Times Square in an effort to give the editors, and the world, an idea of what real girls look like.
The girls were allowed to meet with Teen Vogue editors, where they handed over a
petition to the magazine with more than 20,000 signatures, however they told Jezebel the editors reactions were not what they expected.
Runway protest: Demanding that Teen Vogue use real girls and healthy looking models, 14-year-old protesters held a mock fashion show before delivering deliver 20,000 anti-Photoshop signatures
They explained: 'We walked in, there was no handshake, no “my name is”, none of that. Just, “you sit here, you sit there. So you wanted this meeting – what do you want to say” We said what is in our petition… They proceeded to take out handfuls of magazines with little Post-It notes in them, [marking] what they perceived to be diverse images.
'Most of them were thin African-American models. It was a good start – we love seeing women of color in these magazines. But two or three an issue – and all of them super stick skinny – isn't what we're looking for.'
Emma added that the meeting consisted of the editors telling the teenagers that they hadn't 'done their homework', and that 'Teen Vogue is a great magazine, being unfairly accused.'
Both Emma and Carina were inspired by 14-year-old fellow Spark member Julia Bluhm's recent quest and anti-Photoshop protest against Seventeen magazine.
Some success: After 14-year-old fellow Spark member Julia Bluhm staged an anti-Photoshop protest against Seventeen magazine, the editor-in-chief publicly responded (left), which inspired the Teen Vogue protest (right)
After she delivered a petition with 25,000 signatures to ban Photoshop from the magazine, the editors publicly promised not to alter girls' faces or bodies.
However, at the same time, Seventeen magazine didn't outright agree to stop Photoshopping its models and celebrity subjects, and also did not commit to publishing any un-retouched photo spreads.
Miss Bluhm's crusade, while not wholly successfully, was still met with public consideration by the magazine's editor-in-chief, Ann Shoket, surrounding the points the 14-year-old brought forward.
And as Jezebel noted, when Miss Bluhm met with editors at Seventeen, there were cupcakes and a tour of the office.
Teen Vogue: The girls asked for the magazine to stop altering natural bodies and faces
Unfortunately, it seems Teen Vogue has forgotten who its readers are – these young girls.
Jezebel wrote: 'What Emma and Carina are asking for goes beyond banning Photoshop. They want a wider variety of faces, disclosure if a pimple is removed – a magazine they can relate to.'
As it states in their petition, the girls only want magazines to stop altering natural bodies and faces so that real girls can be 'the new standard of beauty'.
The petition continues: 'It's time for an end to the digitally enhanced, unrealistic “beauty” we see in the pages of magazines.'
The girls also explained their reason for targeting Teen Vogue, simply because they see the magazine as the leader in its teen-targeted field, with the most power to affect change.
Teen Vogue’s Senior Public Relations Director, Erin Kaplan, said 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.'