Picture this: A teen girl lying on her bed flipping through a fashion magazine like Seventeen or Glamour. The PhotoShopped images of stick thin models with perfect hair and skin make her heart drop. The magazine’s shallow portrayal of beauty leaves no room for her own so she stands in front of the mirror disapproving of every inch of her body.

Like this girl, 3 out of 4 teenage girls feel bad about themselves after reading a fashion magazine for only 3 minutes.

Julia Bluhm an 8th grader from Maine decided to stand up against the use of PhotoShop in magazines.

She started a petition on Change.org to get Seventeen Magazine to feature one picture of an unphotoshopped model in every single issue. Though Julia spoke with the editor in chief of Seventeen, the magazine refused to go along with her request. In response, Julia started the “Keep it Real Contest”.

Girls can submit an unedited photo of themselves to the competition and the winner will be featured on a billboard in New York City. You can join Julia’s mission by submitting a photo (we did!) and by recognizing your own beauty.

Here are our tips for taking a great photo:

1)    When you look in the mirror focus on what you love about your body. You’re gorgeous, so rock it!

2)    Fake it ‘til you make it: Pretend that you have all the confidence in the world. If you keep thinking that true confidence will follow.

3)    Exercise! Dance or Yoga is a fun way to workout and will your self esteem while reminding you that what your body can do is more important than how it looks.

4)    Smile! You are beautiful and sensational just the way you are, no PhotoShopping required!

To help spread the “Keep it Real Contest” Miss Representation has partnered with Julia and together they have started a revolution where health and inner-beauty are more important than perfectly PhotoShopped thighs and abs. They want girls to focus on “having fun with their friends, being active and creating positive memories” rather than obsessing over their weight all summer long. The Goal: We want magazines to pledge to print at least ONE unphotoshopped image of a model per issue.

We don’t think it’s too much to ask. Do you?

UPDATE (July 3, 2012):  Julia’s mission worked! Seventeen has agreed to show real girls.  Now it’s Teen Vogue’s turn – and two teenagers, Carina and Emma, are on a new mission with another Change.org petition. (Vote here!)

Join the Keep it Real Contest here: 

 

By Annie Madden (15) and Rachel Kronberg (17)

Rachel, a junior in high school (and a secret ninja), loves American History class and climbing trees. At school she’s on the Nordic ski team and is a member of the environment club. During her down time you can find her reading a book in a tree or interning for BodiMojo. She loves interning for BodiMojo because she wants to help people develop positive body images.

Annie is going into her sophomore year of high school at Milton Academy. She loves to read and write and her favorite sports are skiing and soccer. In fact, during school vacations you can find her visiting Vermont where skiing is a part of life. She thinks it’s great to be a part of the BodiMojo Team because it’s a great community where girls can go to realize that they are not the only ones feeling alone, sad, frustrated or in need of some health guidance.

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