I have come to learn over the last few years that the saying “if you don’t ask, you won’t get” is incredibly true. For me it’s not usually the answer that worries me, it’s being brave enough to ask the question. The voices of “I’m not good enough, who do you think you are and you’re only one person” often put up a very good fight against mounting the courage attack!
This week’s Who’s Awesome is a salute to teenager Julia Bluhm who saw something she didn’t like so asked for it to be changed. When Julia flicked through the pages of Seventeen Magazine she saw flawless, perfect young women looking back at her from every page. Perfect bodies, perfect tans and blemish free skin. For all of us that have been teenagers we know that the likelihood of finding just a blemish free face is exceptionally small.
Julia was fed up and decided to do something about it. With the help of the SPARK movement she launched a petition on change.org asking Seventeen magazine to include just one unaltered photo spread per issue. In the petition she wrote;
“I want to see regular girls that look like me in a magazine that’s supposed to be for me. For the sake of all the struggling girls all over America, who read Seventeen and think these fake images are what they should be, I’m stepping up.”
The petition gather over 84’000 signatures and in the 2012 August edition of Seventeen a “Body Peace Treaty” was published which vowed to celebrate all types of beauty and never alter or retouch any images of girls in their magazine. Although the magazine never confirmed that it was Julie’s petition that was the driver for this change there can be no doubt that her actions were a catalyst for change.
A big shout out to Julia for inspiring us all to be brave and just ask!