Solution Proposal Jordan Starr

Movement to Stop Magazines

Vogue on airbrushing

Seventeen: One unaltered photo spread

Seventeens' response

Teen Vogue Petition

Keep It Real

Keep Airbrushing

Reverse retouching

SPARK change. Join the movement.
SPARK is a girl-fueled activist movement to demand an end to the sexualization of women and girls in media. We're collaborating with hundreds of girls 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.

It is proven that the media has an effect on eating disorders. 47% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures,” (ANAD) and “69% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape.” (ANAD). Even if it does not have a super large effect on eating disorders, it still has an effect. Everyone sees models in commercials, advertisements, and magazines. The models always look perfect and skinny. When people see these pictures it takes a toll on how they see themselves. Most people would tell you that they want to lose weight or somehow change the way their body looks.

People of all ages see models in magazine spreads and models and actors in advertisements on television. What I do not think a lot of people realize is that even though those people in the advertisements may be models or actors of some sort, is that the majority of those ads have been in one way or another, altered. The ads are usually altered to make the models look thinner, change their skin so it looks blemish free, or even alter their body curves. In recent years more and more people have been noticing that most of the models in advertisements and spreads are unrealistic ways to look. Some people have even started trying to do something about stopping magazines and advertisements from using photo shop or any kind of altering method on their models.

When photographers use airbrushing and photo shop, they use it after the photo shoot is already over. They will get all the pictures they need and then go back and alter them. They photographers have programs they use that they can brush over skin to make it look healthier and cleaner and blemish free. They also have ways of making peoples waists smaller, breasts or muscles bigger, and can use it to slim down legs and arms. There is always two sides to everything. To this topic, the two sides are one, that airbrushing and photo shop is turning our society into one that only cares about what you look like and nothing else. Two, that airbrushing and photo shop is actually good and that we need it in our society. (Fashion). One the side that photo shop is bad, you will learn that media is a big part of young girls having body image issues.

A big online community that supports people standing up to larger communities for what they believe in, is SPARK Movement. The SPARK Movement is mostly generalized to girls but it is all about girls and women standing up for what they think is right. For example, if I thought that a magazine was using women in their magazines more as a sexual object over anything, I could go to SPARK Movement and their community would help me figure out how to become at activist and what I could write to the magazine to try and get them to stop. (SPARK).

SPARK is an organization that tries to help everyone feel good about themselves. The creators of SPARK came up with the idea that anyone that finds anything in the media can bring it to their attention and SPARK will help with coming up with a campaign to try and change what they think is wrong. Organizations like SPARK are just trying to help everyone feel comfortable and confident in their own skin.

One girl that that SPARK helped out was a girl named Julia Bluhm. Julia is a frequent reader of Seventeen Magazine, and she decided that the way that models and people are portrayed in the magazine was wrong and unrealistic. Julia then got involved with The SPARK Movement and started a petition for people to sign online that she would eventually send off to Seventeen Magazine. The petition asked if the magazine would have an issue once a month that would have all unaltered and non-photo shopped pictures (Change). Julia wanted girls her age and girls in general to know that just because you may not look like the models you see everywhere, doesn't mean you aren't “pretty.” She wants people to know that no matter what you look like, you are beautiful in your own unique way. (Mommy). Julia’s petition got 84,000 signatures and she got to hand deliver the petition to the magazine headquarters.

Seventeen Magazine got Julia’s petition and they responded through the magazine and to Julia. The magazine told Julia that they would do her one better then just once a month, they promised that they would never use photo shop or any altering on any of their models. They promised that they would never change the body or face shape of any of their models and that they would use a variety of different ethnicities, sizes, and shaped models in the future. The magazine said that they never want girls to feel like they are not beautiful or special. The magazine however did say that they would most likely still use the photo shopping technologies to continue making their models skin look healthier and blemish free. (Change).

After Julia’s petition turned out to work, two more girls decided that they wanted to start a petition out to Teen Vogue asking the same thing that Julia did. Their petition is still in the process of getting signatures. Vogue however is already speaking out. Vogue claims that they have never, and will never, alter the body shape or face shape of any of their models. Similarly to Seventeen Magazine, Vogue did say that they do use photo shop on the skin of their models to make the skin look better. (Lena).

Seeing and hearing more and more people realizing that magazine and advertising models are actually unrealistic ways to look is a start to, hopefully one day, all magazines and advertisements to being completely “real.” The fact that more people are noticing and standing up to the magazines should be a sign to all magazines that, what people want to see is not altered and photo shopped pictures of people. They want to see real and unique people in their magazines. People want to see models and pictures that they can relate to, instead of models and pictures that are too unrealistic to look like. I hope that since these petitions are working and getting noticed, that one day, all magazines will stop using photo shop and start just using the real pictures that they take without altering them whatsoever.

Then you have people saying that photo shop is used for good. In two different articles By Hollie Mckay, she gives two different sides to why photo shopping is actually a good thing in out society. The earlier article from 2010 states that actresses and models have different views on weather or not there should be airbrushing. Models do not think that they need airbrushing because they are already skinner and quote on quote, “prefect.” Actresses in the other hand say that they do need airbrushing so that they can look so what as good as models do in magazines and in advertisements. Actress Audrina Patridge implies that it should not affect the way people think of themselves because majority of people know that most pictures are either airbrushed or photo shopped in some way. (Airbrush). Since everybody already knows that pictures are altered, they should not let it affect the way they think of their own bodies and just let the magazine or advertisement photo look perfect.

Mckay’s other article on airbrushing came out in 2012. This article is all about how we are seeing more and more that photo shop is used now to make women look curvier and even “fatter.” (Fashion). Magazines have always done whatever they could just to sell their article. More recently people have been becoming aware that photo shop is being used to make people look skinnier and better then everyday average people and they do not like that. Since more and more people are not liking what magazines were doing, they would stop buying the magazines. Since magazines just want their product to sell, they started making women look fuller and curvier. Once they started doing that women buying magazines were a lot happier with they fact that they could embrace their own curves, and that their curves were actually beautiful. (Fashion).

Something that I think could help out even more then what these girls have already accomplished, would be regulating how they pick the models and what they actually get to do to the pictures. Being able to make the models skin look better and clear, I say is acceptable because it does not have as large an impact on peoples self esteem as weight ad body type. What should have to regulated is not being able to use photoshop to make models looks skinner, the size the models is, and not being able to change face shapes or any feature on the face.

It would be kind of like food places when they advertise food. The food has to be their food, it cannot be food from another place, or in any way fake. For example, McDonald’s has to advertise their own burgers, they cannot go and find a picture of a burger from Applebee’s and claim it as their own. The same should go for models. The picture should be taken and then it should stay as that picture, it should not be made into look like a whole different person. If you are taking a picture of someone to be on the cover of a magazine, why would you want to change the way that person looks anyway? You obviously wanted them to be on the cover for a reason, so keep the picture true to that person. If you need to fix wrinkles in clothes, or cover a blemish on the skin, go for it, but why alter the body shape?

Also with models, they should have to be a certain size to be able to be in the photo shoot. The average size of a women, is size between 12-16. Why are all the models we see now days size 0 then? If models had to be closer to the size of an average women, then maybe eating disorders would not be as popular a trend with models. Models feel the pressure to stay super skinny so they can keep their job and continue to keep getting other jobs. If models even are starving themselves to stay skinny, what is stopping anyone else from starting themselves? If models did not have a certain size they had to stay at, maybe people around the world would not feel the pressure to try and be and or stay skinny also.

If eating disorders stopped happening with models and actors and actresses, then maybe that could help a little with helping stop eating disorders in other people too. I know that eating disorders are more then just social and media influence, but that does share a part in why someone develops an eating disorder. If young people saw more models that resembled their own size, maybe they feel better about their own body and have a healthier self esteem.

I know that more recently magazines and advertising companies have used photo shop their models to look “thicker” and “curvier” but that should have to stop too. They are still changing the body shape of someone. Even if it to make them look a little chunkier then they are it could still have a negative effect on someones own body image. If a magazine uses photo shop to make some have more curves, how is that any different from a magazine using photo shop to take the fat off someone? The magazine is still creating an unrealistic view of someone.

There is a downfall to regulating magazines, which is what if the model in a magazine or on an advertisement is an actor or actress or someone famous in general. You cannot change they way a person looks like in real life. So if magazines were regulated to only be able to advertise people that are size 8 and up, what would they do if they had an actress that was a size 6? They would not be able to use photo shop to make her look thicker cause that would go against the regulations too.

The official regulations that I think magazines and advertisements should have to go by would be somewhere along the lines of no photo shop to make some one look skinnier or fatter. No photoshop to change the way someones face shape or any features on their face looks like. Last, in every magazine, there has to be a variety of different body types. A magazine should not be able to full of just super skinny girls or boys, it should have to have some sort of balance throughout the spread.

No matter what side you are on, there are pros and cons to both. All in all, I believe that the world would be a lot happier and healthier if photo shop and picture altering was not a thing. However, if it is going to be around, I would rather have it be used for good than evil. When magazines use it to accentuate models or actresses curves and make “normal” and everyday women feel better about themselves, I can be okay with that.


  • Krupnick, Ellie. "Julia Bluhm, Seventeen Reader, Petitions Magazine To Feature Non-Airbrushed Photos." The Huffington Post. April 2012. Web. 10 April 2014.
  • SPARK Movement. "The SPARK Team. Web. 14 April 2014.
  • The Mommy Files "A New Movement to Stop Magazines from Airbrushing Models." SFGates. July 2012. Web. 10 April 2014.
  • Change "Seventeen Magazine: Give Girls Images of Real Girls!" July 2012. Web. 10 April 2014
  • "Lena Dunham, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is. Vogue Airbrushed You = Not Cool." The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, Jan 2014. Web. 14 Apr. 2014
  • Mckay, Hollie. "Airbrush Smackdown: Models Say 'Who Needs It'? Actresses Say 'Um, We Do'!" Fox News. Sept, 2010. Web. 14 April 2014
  • Mckay, Hollie. "Fashion magazines now airbrushing models to make them look … fatter?" Fox News. Aug 2012. Web. 14 April 2014

Solution Proposal Peer Review Jordan Starr

I found this part of my paper to be particularly interesting: I thoroughly enjoyed writing about my topic. Finding out all the information just made it easy for me to write the paper.
This part was surprisingly difficult: I always have trouble with citing my sources, so trying to remember how to do it all, is always difficult for me.
Next time I would do this differently: Give myself little due dates for different sections so that I stay on top of everything.

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