Teen Crusaders Taking on “Teen Vogue” Over Models
(NEW YORK) — After teens had success getting Seventeen magazine to stop digitally altering their models, they have now turned their attention to a new target: Teen Vogue. To get that message across, they took their protest right to the magazine’s headquarters in Times Square on Wednesday and held a mock runway show to give Teen Vogue executives a look at what they say real girls look like.
“I just remember leafing through the mag every month thinking ‘I wish I had her waist… I wish I had her hair,’” said 17-year-old Emma Stydahar.
That’s when Stydahar and her friend Carina Cruz, 16, decided to take action and follow in the footsteps of fellow activist, 14-year-old Julia Bluhm, who last week convinced Seventeen magazine to stop airbrushing its models.
In the August issue of Seventeen magazine, editor Ann Shoket included a letter and body peace treaty that states Seventeen will “never change girls’ body or face shapes,” and “celebrate every kind of beauty in our pages.”
“We’re really hoping to try and get magazines to realize that they should have a diverse array of models,” said Cruz.
They also started a successful online petition that has already garnered over 28,000 signatures. In the petition, they ask Teen Vogue to “follow Seventeen’s example.”
Unlike Bluhm’s positive meeting with Seventeen executives, Stydahar and Cruz say they felt bullied when they came face-to-face with Teen Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Amy Astley.
Stydahar says the meeting was “a lot of telling us we hadn’t done our homework, and that Teen Vogue is a great magazine, who is being unfairly accused.”
In a statement to ABC News, Teen Vogue says they “were receptive to meeting with Emma and Carina to give them an opportunity to discuss their concerns… We feature dozens of non-models and readers every year and do not retouch them to alter their body size.”
Teen Vogue added that they use healthy models on the pages of their magazine. ABC News asked the magazine if they airbrush and Photoshop these models, but they didn’t reply to the inquiry.
Stydahar and Cruz aren’t accusing Teen Vogue of airbrushing their models; they’re just looking for a public pledge from the magazine that they won’t Photoshop and will only use healthy models.
Even though the meeting with Teen Vogue’s editor didn’t go as the girls hoped it would, they are vowing not to give up.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio